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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Wednesday.
1. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75 percent — the largest rate hike since 1994.
The big increase has underlined that Fed officials are serious about reining in inflation even if it comes at a cost to the economy. Fed officials predicted that the unemployment rate would increase and that growth would slow.
“We’re not trying to induce a recession now,” Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, said at a news conference. But he added that the “worst mistake” the Fed could make is failing to achieve price stability.
Interest rates are projected to hit 3.4 percent by the end of 2022, the highest level since 2008. The S&P 500 closed up by 1.4 percent, rallying from a dip after the Fed announced its supersize rate increase.
In related news, President Biden chastised seven top oil company executives in a letter, for profiteering from rising energy prices and “worsening that pain” for consumers.
2. F.D.A. advisers recommended authorizing the Covid vaccine for very young children.
A panel of experts recommended clearing the coronavirus vaccines from Moderna for children ages 6 months through 5 years old, and from Pfizer for children ages 6 months through 4 years old. More than two years into the pandemic, no vaccine has been authorized for children younger than 5, to the dismay of many parents in the U.S.
3. Midway through the primaries, far-right Republicans are pressing closer to power.
Their potential to reshape elections in battleground states is growing. Voters have nominated dozens of candidates who’ve spread falsehoods about the 2020 election. If they win office, they would have the power to administer and certify elections. Such candidates, including for governor or secretary of state, have already been nominated in Michigan, Pennsylvania and now Nevada. Summer primaries in Colorado, Arizona and Wisconsin could yield similar results.
5. New data linked self-driving and driver-assist technologies to hundreds of crashes in the U.S.
Over the course of 10 months, nearly 400 car crashes involved advanced driver-assistance technologies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. Six people died and five were seriously injured during that period.
Tesla cars, some of which have a Full Self-Driving mode, were involved in 273 of the crashes.
The disclosures are part of an effort by the federal agency to determine the safety of advanced driving systems. Many modern cars have features that, for instance, stop them from swerving out of a lane or that allow you to take your hands off the steering wheel under certain conditions.
6. In four states, it’s already difficult or impossible to get an abortion.
Though Roe v. Wade’s expected overturn hasn’t yet happened, women can no longer get legal abortions in Oklahoma or South Dakota. In Missouri, the only clinic that provides abortions won’t accept new appointments. And Wisconsin clinics won’t be scheduling abortions after the end of the Supreme Court term later this month.
7. A 500-mile river journey showed how illegal loggers are felling Congo’s rainforest.
The Congo Basin rainforest, second in size only to the Amazon, is becoming increasingly vital as a defense against climate change. But for several years in a row, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been losing more old-growth rainforest than any other country except for Brazil.
Much of the rainforest loss is due to illegal logging. A climate reporter and a photographer for The Times examined the logging trade along the Congo River.
In other climate news, environmentalists sued the Biden administration for failing to consider the harm to endangered species caused by oil and gas drilling on public lands.
8. Celebrating the swoosh.
Nike, one of the world’s highest-valued apparel brands, is turning 50. Named for the Greek goddess of victory, Nike has released shoes and clothes that permeate our culture.
The brand has performed a rare balancing act, our chief fashion critic writes. Nike has been able to grow into a gigantic, publicly listed company with more than $40 billion in annual revenue while maintaining an aura of niche cool.
9. Country star Luke Combs wants to evolve while staying close to his roots.
Combs, one of country music’s biggest hitmakers, plays catchy anthems that often rocket up to No. 1 on the charts. Even though he didn’t play guitar until college, he always liked singing. He once auditioned for “The Voice” but was turned away. Nor was the Nashville music industry interested — until his song “Hurricane” sold 15,000 downloads.
“I always wanted to write songs that I felt like I wasn’t hearing,” Combs said. Now he’s facing a crisis of sorts: How do you keep your proletarian vibe while living in a Tennessee mansion? He’s releasing an album titled “Growin’ Up” next week.
10. And, finally, furniture flippers want your old dresser.
Endless scrolling during the pandemic, supply chain woes and quick cash have all led to a rise in furniture flipping — taking used furniture and cleaning or revamping it. Furniture listings on Facebook Marketplace in the U.S. have increased over 40 percent compared to last year, while the number of users following Instagram’s #furnitureflip have grown 29 percent.
Elle Woodworth, in Fort Myers, Fla., sold her first set of folding chairs for $35. She now helps runs a secondhand furniture business, bringing in six figures yearly.
Have an enterprising evening.
Eve Edelheit and Sean Culligan compiled photos for this briefing.
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