Political Turmoil in Pakistan

Happy Friday! Best of luck to the newest team in the Australian Football League, which is trying to name itself after an animal native to its home but bumping up against a Looney Tunes-shaped copyright lawsuit.

“It’s our animal, and we’ll use it if we want,” said Jeremy Rockliff, premier of Tasmania.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The Biden administration replaced the expired Title 42 immigration policy with new immigration rules Wednesday tightening asylum restrictions and adding legal consequences for crossing without permission. Migrants caught illegally crossing the border will be deported and barred from re-entry for a minimum of five years, and migrants seeking entry will now be denied asylum unless they have first applied online or have sought and were denied protection in a country they traveled through to reach the United States. The administration also plans to open 100 regional migrant processing centers in South and Central American countries. 
  • Ukrainian and Russian commanders confirmed Ukrainian troops on Wednesday drove Russian forces back from some positions surrounding the eastern city of Bakhmut. Yevgeny Prigozhin—leader of the Russian Wagner Group mercenaries—declared the attacks the beginning of Ukraine’s much-anticipated spring counteroffensive, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky indicated the country’s armed forces need more time to prepare.
  • President Joe Biden and congressional leaders—Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Hakeem Jeffries and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell—postponed a second debt ceiling negotiation meeting from today to sometime next week. The delay will give the leaders’ staff more time to work out areas of agreement.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced Thursday it plans to charge the country’s top banks $15.8 billion in additional fees over the next two years to replenish the deposit insurance fund after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. How much each lender pays will be determined by a “special assessment” of which banks benefited the most from the coverage of uninsured depositors. 
  • The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule Thursday that would require fossil fuel power plants to cut their emissions by 90 percent between 2035 and 2040, or shut down. The EPA is advising plants that don’t plan to shut down to invest in carbon capture technology—a method of storing emissions underground to prevent them from hitting the atmosphere—but the technology’s efficacy is contested and none of the country’s coal- and gas-fired power plants currently use it.
  • Former President Donald Trump formally filed an appeal on Thursday of a jury’s recent decision to hold him liable for the sexual abuse and defamation of writer E. Jean Carroll and award her $5 million in damages. The former president decried the verdict at a CNN town hall event Wednesday night, saying Carroll’s account of his attack was “a fake story”—potentially opening himself up to another defamation suit.
  • The FBI arrested a U.S. citizen in Boston on Tuesday for allegedly spying for the Chinese Communist Party. Federal prosecutors charged Li Tan Liang with conspiracy and acting as an agent of a foreign government, alleging Liang has been working to suppress Chinese dissidents in the U.S. since 2018. 
  • Peloton announced Thursday that—in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission—it is initiating a voluntary recall of more than 2 million exercise bikes manufactured between 2018 and 2023 due to safety concerns with the bikes’ seat posts. Over the last five years, Peloton has received 35 reports of seats detaching mid-cycle resulting in 12 injuries. The company will offer customers a free new seat post. 
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday the producer price index (PPI)—a measure of what suppliers and wholesalers are charging customers—rose 0.2 percent month-over-month in April after falling 0.3 percent in March. Producer prices were up 2.3 percent year-over-year in April, down from 2.7 percent in March and the lowest year-over-year rate since January 2021.
  • The Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims—a proxy for layoffs—increased by 22,000 week-over-week to a seasonally-adjusted 264,000 claims last week, the highest level since 2021, adding to the growing number of signs the hot labor market is continuing to cool.

Unrest in Pakistan

Supporters of Imran Khan take part in a protest against the arrest of the former prime minister in Karachi, Pakistan on May 09, 2023. (Photo by Sabir Mazhar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Supporters of Imran Khan take part in a protest against the arrest of the former prime minister in Karachi, Pakistan on May 09, 2023. (Photo by Sabir Mazhar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

If you’re a Pakistani political leader, what’s the difference between being under arrest in a police facility under armed guard and being a guest in a police facility under armed protection

Easy: a few days of riots and a Supreme Court declaration.

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