10 things you need to know today: May 30, 2023

Hard-right Republicans oppose debt ceiling deal but Biden remains optimistic, Russian missiles target Kyiv in a rare daytime strike, and more

Joe Biden
(Image credit: Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc via Getty Images)

1. GOP hard-liners oppose debt ceiling deal but Biden optimistic

Several hard-right Republicans on Monday vowed to oppose the bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling as a catastrophic default looms. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who last week launched a campaign for the 2024 presidential nomination, echoed the lawmakers' complaints, saying "our country will still be careening toward bankruptcy" after this deal. The opposition was expected, although it underscored the obstacles President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) face as they rush to get the agreement passed before the government starts running short of money to pay its bills next week. Still, Biden and leading Republicans expressed optimism ahead of an early test vote Tuesday in the House Rules Committee. "I feel very good about it," Biden said.

Reuters USA Today

2. Russia targets Kyiv with rare daytime strike

Russia targeted the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, with a rare daytime missile barrage on Monday, sending scared pedestrians rushing off the streets for cover. Parents and children wearing backpacks ran for safety, and hospital workers had to go to bomb shelters. Ukraine said its air defenses intercepted all 11 missiles that targeted the city. Russia said it hit an airfield in the western city of Khmelnytskyi with an aerial strike, and Ukraine confirmed the attack damaged aircraft. Ukrainian forces shelled Russian towns on the other side of the border. Ukraine is preparing for a long-promised counteroffensive aiming to retake territory Russia has occupied. On Tuesday, Russia accused Ukraine of a "terrorist attack" in Moscow that used eight drones to damage several buildings. Kyiv denied responsibility.

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The New York Times BBC News

3. Medal of Honor recipient's remains returned to Georgia on Memorial Day

The remains of Army Pfc. Luther Herschel Story were buried with military honors Monday in a Memorial Day ceremony at Andersonville National Cemetery near his hometown of Americus, Georgia, nearly 73 years after he disappeared in the Korean War. Story, 18, was wounded in battle, and fearing he would slow down his company, he stayed behind to cover their withdrawal as North Korean troops closed in. He was never seen alive again. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor. In April, the U.S. military matched DNA from his closest surviving relative, a niece named Judy Wade, to bones of an unidentified American soldier recovered from Korea in 1950. "I'm just glad he's home," Wade said.

The Associated Press

4. Dozens of NATO peacekeepers injured in Kosovo clashes with Serb protesters

The NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR, said Tuesday that 30 of its soldiers were injured trying to defend three town halls in northern Kosovo against ethnic Serb protesters who were trying to prevent ethnic Albanian mayors from taking office after elections Serbs boycotted. A statement said that the NATO peacekeepers — 11 Italian soldiers and 19 Hungarians — "sustained multiple injuries, including fractures and burns from improvised explosive incendiary devices." Three of the Hungarian soldiers were shot, but their wounds were not life-threatening. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said 52 Serbs were injured, three seriously.

Reuters The Associated Press

5. China rejects U.S. proposal for meeting of defense chiefs

China rejected a U.S. request for a meeting between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore next weekend, the Pentagon said Monday. The U.S. "believes strongly in the importance of maintaining open lines of military-to-military communication between Washington and Beijing to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict," the Pentagon said. The Biden administration pushed for a meeting for weeks, but China turned down the proposal with what The Wall Street Journal described as "an unusually blunt message" that some U.S. officials feared could make Southeast Asian allies nervous about being sucked into a dispute between the two powers.

The Wall Street Journal

6. Japan leader Fumio Kishida ousts son as aide over party pictures

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday fired his eldest son, Shotaro Kishida, as his executive policy secretary following backlash over a private party at his official residence. Photos published by the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine showed Shotaro Kishida and several relatives at an end-of-year party posing on symbolically important red-carpeted stairs, imitating group photos of newly appointed cabinet members with Shotaro in the central spot of the prime minister. Guests also stood at a podium as if giving a news conference. "As secretary for [the prime minister's] political affairs, a public position, his actions were inappropriate and I decided to replace him to have him take responsibility," Kishida said Monday. "Of course, responsibility for the appointment lies with me."

The Guardian ABC News

7. Canada wildfires force thousands to leave homes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that the eastern province of Nova Scotia is facing an "incredibly serious" wildfire emergency. Mike Savage, mayor of the city of Halifax, said that 18,000 people fell under a mandatory evacuation order and would not be allowed to return until municipal authorities say it's safe. The orders affected suburbs about 15 miles from the city that are surrounded by forest. Forest fires still burning out of control also forced people to leave about 400 homes in the province of New Brunswick over the weekend. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the Halifax fire. No deaths or injuries have been reported.


8. Suspect in Holloway murder beaten in Peru prison

Joran van der Sloot, the main suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba, was severely beaten in Peruvian prison, ABC News reported Monday, citing his lawyer. Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of Stephany Flores, but Peru has agreed to temporarily send him to the United States, where he faces trial on extortion and wire fraud charges. Prosecutors say the Dutch citizen tried to get Holloway's mother to pay him for information on where her daughter's body was hidden. Van der Sloot's Peruvian attorney, Maximo Altez, said the beating appeared connected to gang rules inside the prison, not his looming extradition.

ABC News

9. Elizabeth Holmes to start prison sentence for Theranos fraud

Elizabeth Holmes, founder of now-defunct blood testing startup Theranos, reports to prison Tuesday in Bryan, Texas, to start serving her 11-year prison sentence for fraud. Holmes, 39, has two children, and U.S. District Judge Edward Davila recommended she serve her time at the Bryan prison camp to make family visits easier. The minimum security, all-female prison is about 100 miles northwest of Houston. It houses as many as 720 inmates, most of them serving sentences for white-collar crimes and low-level drug offenses. Holmes was convicted in January 2022 on four of 11 fraud and conspiracy charges relating to the misleading of customers and investors about the capabilities of Theranos' technology.


10. Heat beat Celtics to advance to NBA Finals

The Miami Heat advanced to the NBA Finals with a Game 7 win against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday. The 103-84 road victory prevented the Celtics from becoming the first team in NBA history to come back to win a seven-game playoff series after losing the first three games. Miami forward Jimmy Butler led his team with 28 points, and forward Caleb Martin contributed 26 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics were cold, shooting just 39 percent from the field with nobody on the team scoring 20 points. The eighth-seeded Heat, seeking their fourth title in the professional basketball league, will play the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the finals, which kick off Thursday in Denver.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.