5 Things to know for May 24: Ron DeSantis, Debt limit, Catholic Church, China, Apple
By AJ Willingham, CNN
(CNN) — The pandemic-fueled home improvement kick seems to finally be waning. That’s bad news for Lowe’s and Home Depot, but good news for neighbors sick of constant power tool sounds.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis is slated to officially announce his 2024 presidential campaign today, and he’s doing it via Twitter. The Florida governor is planning a conversation with Twitter owner Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces, the platform’s audio feature, to kick off his run. The decision is being seen as part of DeSantis’ strategy to capture the loyalty of right-wing influencers in order to overtake former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination. DeSantis has been seen as the most formidable Republican challenger for Trump, but his standing has recently slipped in the polls. Now, experts predict DeSantis will try to seize back the narrative by positioning himself as the unconventional choice for the party.
2. Debt limit
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are getting warnings from their respective parties about holding the line on looming debt ceiling talks. Progressive Democrats want Biden to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling through the 14th Amendment, avoiding a potentially catastrophic US default. Some hard-line Republicans have insisted McCarthy shouldn’t accept anything less than the conservative debt ceiling proposal already passed in the House, which would involve strict spending cuts. Some Republicans are even claiming the debt ceiling has been falsely manufactured by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Yellen warned Monday that Congress has only a little time left to pass legislation to avoid a first-ever US default, which would harm the US economy and threaten the country’s standing as a world superpower. On Tuesday, GOP negotiators said there was still a “significant gap” between Republicans and the White House on the issue.
3. Catholic Church
More than 450 adult Catholic clergymen abused nearly 2,000 children in the state of Illinois over a period of almost 90 years, according to a report released Tuesday from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The findings feature detailed accounts of alleged sexual abuse and lists of the accused clergymen as well as recommendations to improve future investigations, keep churches accountable and support survivors. The report “has served as a reminder that some clergy in the Church committed shameful and disgraceful sins against innocent victim survivors and did damage that simply cannot be undone,” the Diocese of Springfield said in a statement to CNN.
China’s new Ambassador Xie Feng is in the US for his first visit in his current position and says he wants to enhance US-China relations at a time of “serious difficulties and challenges.” It’s no secret relations between Washington and Beijing have been especially strained following several uncomfortable diplomatic exchanges this year – and the incident with the Chinese surveillance balloon in February. However, there have been some recent signals that tensions are smoothing out a bit. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with top Chinese official Wang Yi in Vienna, and China’s Commerce Minister may meet with top US commerce and trade officials in the US in the coming weeks. Now, Xie says he’s looking forward to “properly handling sensitive and important issues, like the Taiwan question,” as well as engaging with Americans “from all walks of life.”
Apple is bringing more tech manufacturing to US shores. The company announced a multibillion-dollar agreement to develop 5G radio frequency and wireless connectivity components in partnership with US-based manufacturer Broadcom. The components will be designed and built in several American manufacturing and technology hubs. The effort is part of a larger commitment Apple made in 2021 to invest $430 billion in the economy through 2026. It’s also a sign of how bullish the company is on 5G technology. 5G stands for the fifth generation of mobile communications. First rolled out in 2018, the 5G network promises to be faster and handle more connected devices. The technology runs over new radio frequencies and requires extensive updating and expansion of cell towers and other equipment to provide coverage.
Typhoon Mawar is approaching the island territory of Guam in the Western Pacific. As of about 5 p.m. local time (3 a.m. ET), the storm’s strength reached the equivalent of a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane. If it makes landfall, Mawar could be the strongest storm to directly impact Guam – home to about 150,000 people, as well as several US military installations – in almost 50 years. Even if the island territory avoids a direct hit, officials say the damage could be catastrophic.
Netflix begins password sharing crackdown in the US
Time for some hard conversations with your exes, in-laws or whoever else still squats in your account.
New ‘Bama Rush’ documentary shines a light on Southern sorority fashion, among other things
You can pry my Kendra Scott earrings and extra-hold hairspray from my cold, dead hands.
MLB outfielder Will Brennan accidentally hits and kills bird with grounder
Randy Johnson sends his condolences.
How the technology behind ChatGPT could make mind-reading a reality
Your daily dystopian crisis, served fresh and hot — just how you like it!
New York City is sinking due to its million-plus buildings, study says
Oh look, a second serving of crises! Fantastic.
That’s how many illegal spam calls a company called Avid Telecom made between December 2018 and January 2023, according to a suit filed by 49 attorneys general. The AGs claim many of the calls impersonated law enforcement, government agencies or large corporations like Amazon and DirecTV.
“The last time I saw someone on the stage here was Bruce Springsteen, and he didn’t get the welcome that Prime Minister Modi has got.”
— Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who gave an effusive welcome to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a Sydney-area stadium Tuesday. Modi is making his first visit to Sydney in nine years as he gears up to contest national elections next year – and as Australia looks to build economic bridges with the Asian power.
A spectrum of sound
This is called a microtonal, or polychromatic keyboard. Here’s how it works: Sound exists, as you know, on a spectrum. While this spectrum gets split up in different ways – 88 notes on a piano, for instance, or 12 pitches to an octave in Western musical theory – there’s theoretically an infinite number of different pitches to make music with! So these futuristic instruments are like pianos that are expanded and diced up into even more notes. It’s a fascinating way to think about music and composition – even if some of it sounds as confusing as it looks. (Click here to view)
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