Hello. We cover a potential prisoner swap between the US and Russia, and another rate hike by the Fed.
US offers prisoner exchange
The United States offered a prisoner exchange to Russia: Viktor Bout, a notorious Russian arms dealer, for Brittney Griner, the WNBA star, and Paul Whelan, a former Marine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday he would speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine about a “substantial proposal” aimed at to free Griner and Whelan. The US State Department says the two were wrongfully detained.
Blinken’s comments came the same day Griner, detained in Russia on drug charges since February, testified in court. She said she was thrown into a confusing legal system with little explanation of what was going on. Here are the live updates.
The unusually large move in interest rates comes even as the US economy begins to slow. Jerome Powell, the Fed Chairman, said an “unusually” high third rate of three-quarters could arrive in September. He stressed that he does not believe the United States is in a recession.
Still, Powell said, “We need growth to slow down. We don’t want it to be more important than necessary, but at the end of the day, if you think about the medium to long term, price stability is what makes the whole economy work.
Reaction: His comments appeased investors. The S&P 500 stock index ended the day up 2.6% and the Nasdaq Composite posted its best day since April 2020.
What to know about Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia
Background: The Fed began raising interest rates from near zero in March. After making a quarter-point move to start, the central bank raised rates half a point in May and three-quarters point in June, the biggest step since 1994. Consumer prices climbed 9.1% in the year to June. .
Explanation: Here’s how rate increases are acting as America’s main tool to cool prices and what they mean for mortgages and credit cards.
Lufthansa cancels flights
Lufthansa Airlines yesterday canceled almost all of its flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich after around 3,000 staff walked off the job in protest at better wages. Nearly 130,000 travelers were stranded.
The protest was due to end at 6am this morning, but the wage fight is expected to continue. A union official said wages were “not high enough to take inflation into account”, while Lufthansa described wage increases it had already offered.
This strike is just the latest travel disruption in Europe. Airport and other transport workers have been on strike all summer to demand better staffing and wages.
And even as international Covid-related restrictions continue to ease, the pandemic has left deep scars on the travel industry: Airports and airlines that laid off employees during the pandemic are now struggling to respond to a recent increase in demand.
Airports: Heathrow in London and Schiphol in Amsterdam both tried to limit passenger numbers in August. Heathrow’s announcement came after photos of luggage piled up at the airport circulated on social media.
Digital media are changing language, sometimes quickly. American Sign Language is no exception.
Check out this video-filled story about how people who are deaf or hard of hearing are responding to the spread of smartphones and video.
Live Lived: James Lovelock, a British ecologist, captured the imagination of the scientific world with his Gaia theory, which depicts the Earth as a living creature. He died on Tuesday, his 103rd birthday.
The fate of Brittney Griner in Russia
The American basketball star endured months in a Russian prison for smuggling hash oil into the country.
ARTS AND IDEAS
The color of the season is pink. The inspiration: Barbie.
It started with the world of high fashion. During Paris Fashion Week, Valentino launched a pink collection, and in Rome this month, Anne Hathaway attended its runway in a hot pink sequin dress. Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Kim Kardashian and other celebrities were also spotted in pink.
The trend, dubbed “Barbiecore,” is also popular among Millennials and Gen Z. As the Who What Wear website puts it: “Yes, the dolls you played with as a kid are leading the fashion charge right now. moment. Talk about a true nostalgic revival.
Then there’s the Barbie Live-Action movie coming out next year, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. Photos of the actors rollerblading in extremely bright outfits have been hard to miss online: “the dopamine social media hit of the summer,” as Vanessa Friedman, director of the fashion and chief fashion critic for The Times.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT, READ
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