Apr 26, 2017

Pai courts conservative groups ahead of net neutrality fight

Robin Groulx / Axios

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been lining up the conservative base to support him in the looming net neutrality fight. "The ask was, 'We would like for you to get engaged, it's up to you to decide what to say, but here's our view,'" according to a source who was in the room during Pai's Friday meeting with conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform and FreedomWorks.

That debate kicks off this afternoon, when Pai gives a speech laying out his strategy for reversing the Obama administration's net neutrality rules and the FCC's legal underpinnings.

Why it matters: If Pai can can gin up the support of vocal conservatives to defend him — liberal-leaning advocates have been able to mobilize millions of consumers to file comments and arrange headline-grabbing protests during these battles — he'll have more momentum to push his proposal over the finish line.

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

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Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

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.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World