The Wider World

Senate passes debt ceiling bill

SENATE wing of the U.S Capitol building (Wikipedia).

In a somewhat bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate voted 63-36 in favor of a bill that raises the debt ceiling and makes some cuts in federal spending.

According to the Associated Press, neither party was happy with the negotiated agreement between Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, but most senators felt it was a better deal than a default on the nation’s financial obligations at the expense of severe economic repercussions.

“America can breath a sigh of relief,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “We are avoiding default.”

The bill now goes to Biden, who has promised to sign it.

“Special security” for Ukraine?

The idea of creating “special security” guarantees short of NATO membership was discussed at a summit of European leaders on Thursday, according to United Press International.

French President Emmanuel Macron suggested “something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership.” But British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that Ukraine belongs in NATO.

It’s a controversial point because Russian leaders have said that if Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization it would be considered a hostile act against Russia.

Also in the news … Dev Shah, an eighth-grader from Largo, Florida, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling “psammophile.” That’s an organism that thrives in sandy areas. Think cactus.

Sports: Angels fall to Astros

Two brief leads didn’t last very long on Thursday as the Los Angeles Angels lost 5-2 to the Houston Astros in Texas.

Leads of 1-0 and 2-1 were overcome in the bottom of each inning by the team. With the loss, the Angels are 30-28, falling into fourth place in the American League West. 

The Halos outhit the Astros 11-9 but missed some chances to score more runs, going 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Brandon Drury hit his 10th homer of the season and added a double. Hunter Renfroe batted 3-for-5.

Starter Reid Detmers (0-5) had four strong innings, giving up just one run, but the  roof fell in in the fifth as he gave up three more runs.

For the Astros (33-23 and second in the AL West), Jose Abreu and Alex Bregman each drove in a pair of runs.

Ronel Blanco (1-0) got the win for Houston, working 5.1 innings and giving up seven hits and two runs.

The two teams will meet again on Friday. Shohei Ohtani (5-1) will make the start for the Angels.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the day off and open a series Friday against the New York Yankees.

Weather: Some clouds, some sun

May Gray is gone and gives way to June Gloom. For our West Orange County area, the weekend will be in the low 70s before dropping into the 60s on Monday. The forecast for Friday is for a daytime high of 70 and an overnight low of 57 with morning clouds and afternoon sun. Partly cloudy conditions will be in place for Saturday and Sunday with temps of 72 (58) and 71 (60), respectively.

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