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Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson escorted by Turkish police officers as he arrives at his house on July 25, 2018 in Izmir. Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

The White House announced Wednesday they have instructed the Treasury Department to implement sanctions against Turkey’s Minister of Justice and Minister of Interior for their roles in the arrest and detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

The backstory: Brunson was detained after the 2016 failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been released from prison but remains under house arrest, facing terrorism and espionage charges, which he vehemently denies. His detention is a further point of contention with Erdoğan — with whom Trump had personally been friendly despite his increasingly authoritarian behavior.

Sanders added that President Trump had spoken to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about the matter explaining, "We’ve seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong, and we believe he is a victim of unfair and unjust detention by the government of Turkey."

Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly responded to the sanctions and called on the Trump administration to reverse their decision explaining they "strongly protest" the decision.

  • "There is no doubt that the decision, which disrespectfully intervenes with our judicial system, stands in contrast to the essence of our relations and will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Hybrid work now dominates the knowledge economy

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, most knowledge workers are in hybrid work arrangements, partly remote and partly in-office, a new survey finds.

By the numbers: 58% said they now work this way, in a survey of around 10,000 knowledge workers from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan, conducted last November by Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack.

Rents hit all-time high

Data: Zumper; Chart: Axios Visuals

The national median price of a one-bedroom rental apartment in January was up 12% year-over-year, to $1,374 — an all-time high, per Zumper, an online apartment rental site.

Why it matters: Inflation is taking a bigger bite out of people's paychecks these days not only in food and gasoline, but also in housing costs.

A pandemic victim: Ethical supply chains

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Over the last decade, global companies have put in place elaborate policies to ensure their suppliers protect worker safety and human rights. They're struggling to comply with those policies in the pandemic.

Driving the news: COVID-era disruptions have caused a spike in noncompliance with health and safety rules, according to new data from Qima, which audits supply chains.