Happy Monday! Justice is a dish best served fried: The two fishermen who were caught last year stuffing walleye with lead in an effort to win an Ohio fishing tournament have been sentenced to 10 days in jail—and required to forfeit their $100,000 fishing boat.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his main challenger, opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, both appeared to fall short of the 50 percent threshold required to win the country’s high-stakes presidential race after tens of millions of voters cast their ballots on Sunday. With 92 percent of the vote counted early Monday morning, Turkey’s High Election Board put the incumbent in the lead with 49.4 percent of the vote to Kılıçdaroğlu’s 45 percent, setting the stage for a close runoff election between the two candidates on May 28.
- Ukrainian forces have reportedly regained more than a mile of territory in some parts of Bakhmut in recent days, with the Russian Defense Ministry suggesting its forces in the eastern Ukrainian city had withdrawn to regroup and set up a new defensive line with more “favorable conditions.” But Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner paramilitary group supplementing Russian forces, said Ukraine had regained control of strategic highlands in the city: “[What the Russian military did] is called running away, not regrouping.”
- German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced a nearly $3 billion military aid package for Ukraine on Saturday, hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Berlin. The aid package—Germany’s largest yet—will reportedly include 30 Leopard tanks, armored vehicles, reconnaissance drones, and ammunition. The materiel will be delivered in the coming months.
- Representatives of the two warring generals in Sudan signed an agreement in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last week aimed at protecting civilians and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid, but the measures fall short of a full ceasefire. Mediated by Saudi Arabia and the United States, the deal also calls for international monitoring of the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese military as the fighting—which began a month ago and has left more than 600 people dead—rages on.
- Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) agreed to a ceasefire over the weekend, seeking to bring an end to fighting that has killed 33 Palestinians—which the Israeli Defense Forces said were mostly militants, but likely included civilians struck by PIJ rockets falling short of their Israeli targets—and two civilians in Israel. Dozens more were wounded on both sides of the conflict, which began when PIJ militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel on May 2 after a detained PIJ leader died from a hunger strike in an Israeli prison. This weekend’s accord—mediated by Egypt—was set to go into effect Saturday night at 10 p.m., but a handful of rockets and missiles continued to fly shortly thereafter.
- A Pakistani court released Imran Khan on Friday after the former prime minister was arrested Tuesday on graft charges. The court granted Khan a two-week bail after Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled his original arrest—which set off violent protests across the country—was unlawful. Khan predicted that he will be arrested again, and told The Guardian he believes the head of Pakistan’s army ordered his arrest due to a “personal grudge.”
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Friday that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will retire from the State Department at the end of June. The announcement came just one day after Reuters reported Sherman had played a key role in the department’s decision to delay the implementation of sanctions on China—including restrictions on Huawei and officials involved in the Uyghur genocide—after the U.S. shot down a Chinese spy balloon in February. Sherman—who was a lead negotiator on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and an architect of the Clinton administration’s failed North Korea policy before that—was reportedly hoping to reschedule Blinken’s trip to Beijing that had been canceled after the balloon incident.
- President Joe Biden announced Friday he is nominating economist and World Bank Executive Director Adriana Kugler to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, and tapping Philip Jefferson—a current member of the board—to serve as the vice chair of the central bank. Both nominees will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
- Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday that the Biden administration’s pause on student loan repayments will end “no later than June 30,” adding that the “emergency period is over.” The restarting of payments will come as the White House’s sweeping student loan forgiveness plan remains on hold while the Supreme Court weighs its constitutionality.
- Biden told reporters on Sunday he will likely meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday to continue negotiations over raising the debt ceiling and averting a default in the coming weeks. The president signaled optimism a deal could be reached, and the pair’s Friday meeting was delayed so staff-level talks could continue over the weekend.
- Daniel Penny—the Marine veteran who placed Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold after Neely was acting erratically on a New York City subway earlier this month—was arraigned Friday on one count of second-degree manslaughter and released after posting bail.
No Title 42 Tidal Wave—Yet
Title 42 expired at midnight Thursday, and the Biden administration heaved a very—very, very—cautious sigh of relief over the weekend as the widely expected tidal wave of migrants failed to materialize at the southern border. So far.
Numbers did swell to record levels earlier in the week, with 11,000 migrants apprehended Tuesday and again Wednesday. But while it’s far too early for the administration to declare victory, the wave ebbed after Title 42’s expiration—about 6,200 were apprehended Friday—rather than gathering strength as the administration had feared. “Over the past two days, the United States Border Patrol has seen an approximately 50 percent drop in the number of people encountered at our southern border,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC News on Sunday.
A pandemic-era policy ostensibly intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, Title 42 allowed border officials to quickly expel most migrants without letting them apply for asylum—and without formal deportation proceedings. Border officials used it nearly 3 million times. But many of these were repeat crossers, as the lack of criminal consequences associated with Title 42 expulsions incentivized migrants to try their luck repeatedly—and some were eventually able to elude border officials. The number of known “gotaways” grew from around 12,500 a month in 2019 to more than 50,000 in 2022. Republicans largely approved of Title 42 and wanted the Biden administration to keep it in place, but legal battles over its fate fizzled when the national COVID-19 public health emergency—which provided the authority for Title 42 in the first place—expired.