Happy Friday! Dairy farms in the Midwest are producing so much milk that processing plants can’t keep up, resulting in thousands upon thousands of gallons being dumped into sewers and empty fields every day.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- The Food and Drug Administration approved the first nonprescription, over-the-counter contraceptive pill Thursday, following the recommendation of an advisory panel that in May unanimously voted to back its authorization. The pill from Dublin-based Perrigo Company—called Opill—is meant to be ingested orally once a day, and is expected to be available in drug stores and online starting in early 2024.
- The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said Wednesday that 32 Chinese warplanes had crossed into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone—the largest such incursion since military exercises in April. The move comes one week after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with American and Canadian lawmakers, and a few weeks before the island is set to conduct its annual Han Kuang drills aimed at strengthening countermeasures against Chinese threats.
- The United Nations said yesterday that the bodies of at least 87 people—some of whom belonged to the Masalit ethnic group—were buried in a mass grave in Sudan in June. The U.N. high commissioner for human rights called for a “swift investigation” into the potentially ethnically-motivated killings, which the U.N. attributed to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied militias. The RSF, which has been locked in a conflict with the Sudanese army since April, has denied any involvement in fighting in West Darfur that has killed thousands and displaced millions in recent months.
- CBS News reported Thursday that last month the number of unauthorized migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border hit its lowest level since February 2021. The preliminary statistics purportedly show that apprehensions dropped from 169,000 in May to just over 100,000, as the Biden administration announced several new crackdowns on illegal immigration.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday the producer price index (PPI)—a measure of what suppliers and wholesalers are charging customers—rose just 0.1 percent month-over-month in June after falling 0.4 percent in March. Producer prices were up only 0.1 percent year-over-year in June, down from 0.9 percent in May and the lowest year-over-year rate since August 2020.
- An appeals court ordered New York to redraw its congressional map Thursday, a win for Democrats who are hoping to tilt the map in their favor after a bruising cycle in last year’s midterm elections. The state’s bipartisan Independent Redistricting Commission failed to agree on a new map after the 2020 census, resulting in an intense legal battle that ended with a state court judge overseeing the redistricting process for the 2022 midterms.
- SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s primary actors’ union, went on strike Thursday after the union failed to reach an agreement with studios on pay and artificial intelligence. The union’s 160,000 members will join the writer’s union, which has been on strike for six weeks, marking the first dual strike since 1960. With Hollywood already 80 percent shut down, the strikes could cost both the country and local economies billions of dollars.
Fighting for Par on Capitol Hill
The PGA Tour wants you to know that it didn’t have any choice but to merge with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League. “LIV would have continued to recruit our players and put our tour in jeopardy,” Ron Price—the tour’s chief operating officer—told lawmakers during a Senate hearing on the proposed deal on Tuesday. “They could have become the leader in professional golf and operated it for the benefit of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Five weeks ago, the golf world was rocked by the news that the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) had agreed to a merger framework, ending hostilities between the established golf league and the deep-pocketed upstart by creating a new umbrella organization to encompass both. The two entities had been locked in a messy public feud over golfers’ allegiances for months—PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan even went so far as to invoke the families of 9/11 victims—until June 6, when Monahan sat down next to PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and told the world they were planning to let bygones be bygones.