Jun 2, 2017

Court holds up FCC move that helps Sinclair-Tribune deal

A federal court has temporarily halted an FCC decision that boosted the major Sinclair-Tribune broadcast merger.

The details: The Republican-controlled FCC recently brought back what is known as the "UHF discount," which effectively allows broadcasters to cover more than the 39% of the country allowed under current rules — because it counts certain types of stations as covering a smaller area. That move has been challenged in court.

Why it matters: The UHF discount eases the acquisition of Tribune by Sinclair Broadcast Group, on of the major media deals of the year.

The court said Thursday that it was halting implementation of the decision. But it cautioned that the "purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for stay pending review and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion." The FCC declined to comment. Variety reports the stay is expected to last through June 7.

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Federal court temporarily halts "Remain in Mexico" program

Migrant wearing a cap with U.S. flagin front of the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Photo: Jair Cabrera Torres/picture alliance via Getty Image

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's earlier injunction on Friday, temporarily stopping the Trump administration from enforcing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of migrants seeking asylum have been forced to wait out their U.S. immigration court cases across the border in Mexico under the policy. The Trump administration has long credited this program for the decline in border crossings following record highs last summer.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: WHO raises global threat level to "very high"

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" Friday, its highest risk level as countries struggle to contain it. Meanwhile, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow this morning tried to reassure the markets, which continued to correct amid growing fears of a U.S. recession.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected about 83,800 others in almost 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Bernie's plan to hike taxes on some startup employees

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced legislation that would tax nonqualified stock options at vesting, rather than at exercise, for employees making at least $130,000 per year.

The big picture: Select employees at private companies would be taxed on monies that they hadn't yet banked.