The 7The 7

Wednesday briefing: Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision; Candida auris; World Baseball Classic; Google Bard; and more

(Illustration by Katty Huertas/The Post)


The Fed will decide whether to raise interest rates again today.

  • What to know: The nation’s central bank has been hiking rates for a year now, because that’s one of the only ways the Fed can bring down rising prices.
  • But it’s become more complicated: The rate hikes helped fuel the banking turmoil of the past two weeks — including the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.
  • What to expect: Probably another rate hike, even though economists disagree about whether that’s the right move. Also, the chairman of the Fed will answer questions.


The U.S. said it will send tanks to Ukraine sooner than expected.


Another powerful storm slammed into California yesterday.

  • What to know: Damaging winds, heavy rain and flooding rocked the Bay Area and just to the south. More than 200,000 customers lost power yesterday and at least one person died.
  • What’s next: The same storm is dragging an atmospheric river toward Southern California. Today’s forecast includes heavy rain, snow and strong winds.


Idaho is preparing to allow firing-squad executions.

  • The details: A bill passed the state Senate this week and is expected to be signed into law. Idaho would become the fifth state to do this.
  • Why? Drug supply issues and botched procedures have made lethal injections problematic. Idaho hasn’t been able to execute a prisoner since 2012, and the state is looking for other options.


A deadly fungus is rapidly spreading in U.S. health facilities.

  • What is it? A yeast strain known as Candida auris. It poses a danger to medically fragile people, including nursing home patients on ventilators and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • How fast is it spreading? Infections from the fungus tripled nationally from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021. Early data from the CDC suggests the numbers have continued to rise.


Japan won the World Baseball Classic last night.

  • What happened? Japan defeated the U.S., 3-2, in the final in Miami. Japanese star Shohei Ohtani struck out his Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout in an epic ending to the game.
  • The big picture: The World Baseball Classic is still establishing itself, but the commitment of players such as Ohtani, Trout and others has dramatically improved its credibility.


Google launched its own AI chatbot yesterday.

  • What to know: It’s called Bard — Google’s answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. It can answer questions and have conversations on nearly any subject. We chatted with it here.
  • Why does this matter? Artificial intelligence is increasingly making its way into our lives. AI won’t entirely replace humans at work any time soon, but it’s already transforming some jobs.

And now … you should eat lentils every day: Here’s why it’s good for you and the planet. Plus, what to make with those delicious spring vegetables.

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