The Fed is expected to announce an interest rate hike
The Fed is expected to announce another interest rate hike at the end of its 2-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The release of the Consumer Price Index this month revealed that inflation increased by 9.1% in June compared to the same period last year, marking the largest increase since November 1981. Higher interest rates are expected to slow the economy, which may dampen business earnings, which could hurt their growth and stock prices, according to Forbes. Although the Fed does not directly control all interest rates, when it raises the federal funds rate, all other interest rates eventually follow, including variable rate mortgages, credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other loans. Further increases are expected at committee meetings scheduled for September, November and December.
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2 ex-Minneapolis cops face conviction for violating George Floyd’s rights
The Last Two Former Minneapolis Police Officers sentenced for violation of the civil rights of George Floyd must learn their penalties on Wednesday. J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were convicted in February of the May 2020 murder. The jury found they deprived Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, of medical attention and failed to arrest Derek Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes while Floyd gasped. Kueng held Floyd’s back, former officer Thomas Lane held his feet and Thao held back bystanders, some of whom recorded video that led to protests around the world. Chauvin, who pleaded guilty last year to violating Floyd’s civil rights and the civil rights of a teenager in an unrelated case, was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison. Lane, who twice asked if Floyd should be rolled onto his side so he could breathe, was sentenced to 2 1/2. Prosecutors did not make specific sentencing recommendations for Kueng and Thao, but asked for less time than Chauvin and “substantially” longer than Lane.
Brittney Griner trial continues in Russia
WNBA star Brittney Griner’s Russian drug trial is should resume on Wednesday after Tuesday’s session was temporarily halted due to a US State Department official fainting in the courtroom, Russian media reported. ABC News reported early Wednesday that Griner is expected to testify when the trial resumes. Griner, 31, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has been in custody since his arrest for drug trafficking at a Moscow region airport. in mid-February while returning to play basketball for a Russian professional team, days before Russia invaded Ukraine. She pleaded guilty and admitted that she was carrying vaping cartridges containing cannabis oil. Griner said she accidentally packed the cannabis, which was prescribed by a doctor, in her luggage and had no criminal intent. She faces up to 10 years in prison.
White House rewrites rules to push more affordable housing with COVID-19 bailout funds
On Wednesday, new guidance from the Treasury Department gives local and state governments greater flexibility to address affordable housing with their share of $350 billion in direct aid of the American rescue plan – President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus bill passed in March 2021. The guidance will bring about several key changes. First, state and local governments will be able to use US bailout funds to fund long-term loans for affordable housing to nonprofits and developers. Second, new rules allow cities and states to direct bailout funds to six additional federal housing programs — opening up funds for low-income housing credits, preservation of affordable housing, supportive housing supports for the elderly and disabled; and capital funds for public housing. The Biden administration also clarifies that the funds can “finance the development, repair or operation” of any affordable rental housing.
Russia’s Gazprom set to drastically cut gas supply to Europe
Russian energy giant Gazprom on Wednesday halved the amount of natural gas passing through its main Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Europe, flow rate drops to approximately 20% of normal capacity. In an announcement Monday, the company blamed the need for a pipeline turbine overhaul. Germany, however, accused Gazprom of politically motivated blocking tactics, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “All this is done deliberately by Russia to make it as difficult as possible for Europeans to prepare for winter.” . to reduce their total gas consumption by 15% in response to what European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called “Putin’s energy blackmail”.
Contributor: The Associated Press