Your Thursday Briefing: U.S. raises interest rates

Also, China and Russia grow closer and the U.S. waits for news of a possible Donald Trump indictment.
Author Headshot

By Amelia Nierenberg

Writer, Briefings

Good morning. We’re covering the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increase and Xi Jinping’s effort to draw closer to Russia.

Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, signaled that officials were still focused on fighting inflation. T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

The Fed raises rates amid turmoil

The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter-point as officials tried to balance the risk of runaway inflation with the threat of turmoil in the banking system.

The decision was one of the most closely watched in years, and the conflicting forces had left investors and economists guessing what central bankers would do. The Fed raised rates to a range of 4.75 to 5 percent — matching last month’s increase in size — and the central bank projected one more rate increase in 2023 to 5.1 percent. 

Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, said that officials “considered” pausing interest rates because of the banking problems but noted that the economic data had been strong. He added that the American banking system was “sound and resilient.”

He also called Silicon Valley Bank, which collapsed earlier this month, an “outlier,” trying to cast its problems as unique. He said it was not a reason to panic about the banking system, even as he acknowledged the need for better supervision and regulation.

Context: This is the ninth rate increase in a year. The Fed has been rapidly raising its interest rate since March 2022, making borrowing money more expensive in hopes of cooling inflation.

Markets: Wall Street stocks dropped as investors balked at the Fed’s decision.

Journalists waited for updates outside of the criminal court in Manhattan.Anna Watts for The New York Times

Awaiting a Trump indictment

Americans are awaiting news of a possible indictment of Donald Trump, which could come as early as today. Criminal charges against the former president have been hotly anticipated since at least Saturday, when Trump, with no direct knowledge, declared that he would be arrested on Tuesday.

The grand jury in the case against Trump did not meet yesterday as expected, and it may still hear from another witness before being asked to vote on an indictment. Prosecutors have signaled that criminal charges against the former president are likely

The prospect that Trump, who is running for re-election, could face criminal charges is extraordinary. No sitting or former American president has ever been indicted. This case, which hinges on an untested legal theory, is just one of several criminal investigations he faces.

Case details: The charges most likely center on how Trump handled reimbursing a lawyer for a hush-money payment of $130,000 to the porn star Stormy Daniels during the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.

While hush money is not inherently illegal, the prosecutors could argue that the payout was a federal crime because it was done by falsifying business records. It could also be considered an improper donation to Trump’s campaign — a violation of election law.

Trump’s response: Trump has referred to the investigation as a “witch hunt” against him. Those who have spent time with Trump in recent days say he has often appeared significantly disconnected from the severity of his potential legal woes.

What’s next: The timing of any potential indictment is unknown, and an arrest would not immediately follow. If Trump were convicted of a felony, he would face a maximum sentence of four years, but prison time would not be mandatory.

President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin used the pomp of the visit to celebrate their close ties.Vladimir Astapkovich/Sputnik

China-Russia versus the U.S.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, wrapped up a three-day summit in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin that showed the two superpowers aligned in countering American dominance and a Western-led world order.

The summit demonstrated that Xi remains focused on shoring up ties with Moscow to gird against what he sees as a long U.S. “containment” effort to block China’s rise. The leaders laid out their vision for the world in a joint statement that covered an array of topics, including Taiwan and climate change — and often depicted the U.S. as the obstacle to a better, fairer world. 

They also endorsed an expanded role for China’s currency, the renminbi, a step that would tie Russia’s economy closer to China’s. A broader use of the currency among China’s allies, including in Iran and North Korea, could make it easier to conduct transactions without worrying about sanctions linked to the dollar.

Ukraine: The two leaders did not reveal any progress toward achieving peace in Ukraine.

Leadership: The two declared their admiration for each other’s authoritarian rule. Xi even endorsed Putin for another term.




Asia Pacific
Rhona Wise/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Around the World
Ugandan legislators debated the bill this week.Abubaker Lubowa/Reuters
The War in Ukraine 
A Morning Read
Renovations to a stained glass window in the Qibli Mosque inside the Aqsa compound.Afif Amireh for The New York Times

The artisans who maintain the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem — known to Jews as the Temple Mount — are struggling to keep up with repairs after clashes. They are also bracing for more unrest: Ramadan is starting and Passover is just a few weeks away, raising worries that the larger numbers of visitors to the contested site will increase the possibility of clashes.

“This takes months to finish, and in one minute, in one kick, all this hard work goes,” said one man who works in stained glass.

Subscribe Today

We hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, which is made possible through subscriber support. Subscribe to The New York Times with this special offer.


Heavy winds damaged a road that connects two cities in Malawi.Thoko Chikondi/Associated Press

A record-setting storm

As southeast Africa begins to recover from Cyclone Freddy, scientists are taking a closer look at whether the storm could be a sign of things to come on a warming planet.

Cyclone Freddy lashed three countries, hitting Madagascar and Mozambique twice. When it moved inland last week, heavy rain and mudslides devastated Malawi, killing 438 people.

The storm was remarkable for a couple of reasons. One is longevity. It lasted 36 days, by one measure, and underwent rapid intensification cycles at least seven times, quickly waning and then intensifying. Freddy is now the longest-lasting tropical cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere, and experts from the World Meteorological Organization are working to determine whether it is the longest-lasting storm in history.

Freddy was also remarkable for its range. The storm traveled more than 4,000 miles from the northern coast of Australia to the southeast coast of Africa.

Understanding the links between climate change and individual storms requires complex research, but scientists know in general that global warming is leading to bigger, wetter storms.

“A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture,” said Anne-Claire Fontan, who studies tropical cyclones at the World Meteorological Organization. “We expect that tropical cyclones will bring more intense rainfall.” — Lynsey Chutel, a Briefings writer in Johannesburg 


What to Cook
David Malosh for The New York Times

A recipe for Ramadan: Qatayef asafiri, sweet stuffed pancakes drizzled with syrup.

What to Read

Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs” by Kerry Howley explores how the erosion of privacy has fueled conspiracy theories and the national security state.

What to Watch

Our selection of five science fiction films includes a trippy Japanese time-loop and an Italian remake of the 2021 Australian film “Long Story Short.”

Now Time to Play

Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Exchange (four letters).

Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia

P.S. Our visual journalists won 34 awards in the Pictures of the Year International Awards.

The Daily” is on the roots of the banking crisis.

We’d like your feedback! Please email thoughts and suggestions to



Need help? Review our newsletter help page or contact us for assistance.

You received this email because you signed up for Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition from The New York Times.

To stop receiving Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition, unsubscribe. To opt out of other promotional emails from The Times, manage your email preferences.

Subscribe to The Times

Connect with us on:


Change Your EmailPrivacy PolicyContact UsCalifornia Notices

LiveIntent LogoAdChoices Logo

The New York Times Company. 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018

Key phrases

Older messages

Your Wednesday Briefing: China, Japan divided on Ukraine

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Also, an IMF loan to Sri Lanka and the Japan-US final in the World Baseball Classic. View in browser| Continue reading the main story Marquee Ad Morning Briefing, Asia Pacific Edition March

Your Tuesday Briefing: Xi meets Putin in Moscow

Monday, March 20, 2023

Also, a major UN climate report and a manhunt in the Indian state of Punjab. View in browser| Continue reading the main story Marquee Ad Morning Briefing, Asia Pacific Edition March 21, 2023

Your Monday Briefing: Putin and Xi to meet in Moscow

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Also, Donald Trump says his arrest is imminent and UBS agrees to buy Credit Suisse. View in browser| Continue reading the main story Marquee Ad Morning Briefing, Asia Pacific Edition March

Your Friday Briefing: Macron pushes through pension bill

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Also, Poland says it will give Ukraine warplanes and Japan extends a hand to South Korea. View in browser| Continue reading the main story Marquee Ad Morning Briefing, Asia Pacific Edition

Your Thursday Briefing: Bank fears resurface

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Also, South Korea's leader visits Japan and Russia gears up for more cyberattacks. View in browser| Continue reading the main story Marquee Ad Morning Briefing, Asia Pacific Edition

What A Day: The best is debt to come

Thursday, June 1, 2023

The Biden-McCarthy deal has begun its uphill battle through Congress. Wednesday, May 31, 2023 BY JULIA CLAIRE & CROOKED MEDIA - Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) losing her mind over the debt ceiling deal Oh,

You're not optimizing your newsletter enough

Thursday, June 1, 2023

PLUS: I answer your questions ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Sacklers pay $6 billion to escape future opioid lawsuits

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Plus, Novia Scotia's wildfires. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

GeekWire Mid-Week Update

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Read the top tech stories so far this week from GeekWire Top stories so far this week Amazon confirms abrupt departure of AWS data center chief Chris Vonderhaar The Amazon Web Services executive who

7PM ET TONIGHT: Paid Subscriber Q&A With Rep. Ro Khanna On House Debt Vote

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

As the debt ceiling deal heads to a final vote, Sirota and supporting subscribers talk with the progressive lawmaker about why he and his colleagues are voting against it. LIVE EVENT STARTING SOON! The

How TikTok Beat the Ban (for Now)

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Columns and commentary on news, politics, business, and technology from the Intelligencer team. Intelligencer Stay informed about business, politics, technology, and where they intersect. Subscribe now

Your Wednesday Briefing: Anger over ‘false alarm’ in South Korea

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Also, military tensions in the Arctic. View in browser| Continue reading the main story Marquee Ad Morning Briefing, Asia Pacific Edition June 1, 2023 By Justin Porter and Amelia Nierenberg

The best beach chair

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Is on sale ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Hundreds of Amazon employees walk out in Seattle

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Breaking News from GeekWire | View in browser BREAKING NEWS Some Amazon employees in Seattle and other offices around the world walked out in protest Wednesday, urging the company to take

Amazon employees poised to walk out

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Microsoft vets lead secretive new AI startup | Study reveals hybrid work patterns ADVERTISEMENT GeekWire SPONSOR MESSAGE: Money Hacks is a financial education series from GeekWire and BECU: Get