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Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

T-Mobile will pay a $200 million civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury to resolve an investigation into whether Sprint was illegitimately drawing excess subsidies from the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline phone program for low-income consumers.

Why it matters: It's the largest fixed-amount settlement the FCC has ever received to settle an investigation, the agency noted in its Wednesday announcement.

  • Sprint, as a subsidiary of T-Mobile after the two companies merged earlier this year, is now also under a consent decree with the FCC to hold it to better comply with the rules of the Lifeline program.

Background: The FCC's enforcement bureau has been investigating reports that Sprint, prior to its merger with T-Mobile, was claiming monthly subsidies for about 885,000 Lifeline subscribers who weren't actually using the service.

  • Lifeline is a federal program that makes phone and broadband more affordable for low-income Americans. Participating providers get a $9.25 subsidy per subscriber.

Go deeper

Guaranteed income programs are proliferating

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Cities around the country are starting up guaranteed income programs, which pay low-income residents around $300–$600 a month to help improve their lives.

Why it matters: If successful, backers hope these experiments — which bring the idea of guaranteed basic income from the progressive drawing board to reality — could set the stage for a day when unconditional cash stipends are a ubiquitous national safety net.

In photos: St Vincent water supply running low as volcano eruptions continue

La Soufrière volcano erupting in Saint Vincent on April 9. Photo: Zen Punnett/AFP via Getty Images

Water is in short supply in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as La Soufrière volcano continues to explode, government spokesman Sehon Marshall told a local radio station Tuesday.

The big picture: Up to 20,000 people have been evacuated from the Caribbean island’s northern region since the volcano began erupting there last Friday, per AP. Over 3,000 evacuees are staying in more than 80 government shelters.

In photos: Twin Cities on edge after Daunte Wright shooting

Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Daunte Wright face off with police near the Brooklyn Center police station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 13. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Law enforcement and protesters in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center clashed Tuesday night, after demonstrators again defied a night curfew to protest for a third night the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

The big picture: It followed two nights of protests and unrest over Wright's death Sunday. Outside the city's police headquarters, law enforcement used "heavy force," with tear gas and flashbangs, per the Star Tribune. Protesters threw objects including water bottles, hitting some officers on their helmets, the outlet notes.

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