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Photo: Ibrahim Amro/AFP/Getty Images

A proposal to tax WhatsApp calls has pushed an already struggling Lebanon over the edge. Thousands poured into the streets calling for the "fall of the regime" on Thursday and Friday, reports Al Jazeera.

Why it matters: These are the largest protests seen in years in Lebanon, where unemployment is growing and economic growth lagging amid regional conflict and instability. In a country often divided along sectarian lines, the wide reach of these protests "has been seen as a sign of deepening anger with politicians who have jointly led Lebanon into crisis," writes Al Jazeera.

WhatsApps' role: The Lebanese rely on WhatsApp‘s free messaging and calling system to save money.

  • The proposed bill, which has since been pulled, would've taxed WhatsApp users 20 cents for their first phone call every day, according to Fortune.

The big picture: Lebanon is one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world, and the government has declared a state of economic emergency, reports the Washington Post.

  • The country is struggling to fight its deficit since its currency remains pegged to the dollar, per the Post.

Go deeper: U.S. sanctions Lebanese bank for alleged Hezbollah ties

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Technology

Twitter sues Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Twitter on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), saying that his office launched an investigation into the social media giant because it banned former President Trump from its platform.

Driving the news: Twitter is seeking to halt an investigation launched by Paxton into moderation practices by Big Tech firms including Twitter for what he called "the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President," days after they banned him following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.