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Expand chart
Data: Google Trends; Chart: Axios Visuals

Public interest in the debt limit was just starting to rev up before Senate leaders struck a deal on Thursday to push the dilemma to December.

The big picture: Google searches for the topic were higher than at any point since 2013 but still well below levels from 2011 and '13, according to Google Trends data.

Why it matters: While the procedural debate about the debt limit has narrow Beltway appeal, the issue has the explosive potential to upend American life if the worst fears of a sovereign default and economic collapse are realized.

The topic broke into the national conversation over the last couple weeks, with interest starting to build last Monday, Sept. 27, according to data from NewsWhip.

  • This week, debt limit stories have generated more social media interactions (likes, comments, shares) than those about the California oil spill, "Squid Game" and Tom Brady, per NewsWhip data.
  • Over the last couple days, the story has attracted as much interest as the Gabby Petito case.

Go deeper

Google Cloud launches partnerships on climate and sustainability

Google Cloud is partnering with five sustainability-focused companies to offer public and private sector customers new ways of anticipating and reducing their climate risk exposure, among other applications, the company announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: With more climate and sustainability-related data being generated than ever, a premium is being placed on finding ways to gain insights from the firehose of information.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.