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Vox Sentences: Ajit Pai doesn’t want to play Monopoly this time

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The FCC unexpectedly votes to effectively kill the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media; Pakistan prepares for election day.

Ajit Pai, the internet’s archenemy, makes a surprising decision

Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), led by Ajit Pai, delivered a crushing blow to the Sinclair Broadcast Group and its $3.9 billion attempt to acquire Tribune Media. The commission unanimously voted to refer Sinclair to an administrative law judge, which will delay the merger and could even end the acquisition attempt. [Reuters / David Shepardson]
  • Sinclair currently has 193 affiliate stations across the country — and is known for injecting conservative politics into its local news segments. [Vox / Dylan Matthews]
  • Sinclair’s bid for Tribune means it would own 235 US stations and be available in 72 percent of US households. The federal cap on audience size is 39 percent, but the FCC revived a loophole that doesn’t fully count stations broadcast on ultra-high frequency. [Politico / Margaret Harding McGill and John Hendel]
  • Sinclair attempted to appease the FCC by offering to sell 23 TV stations. But the FCC discovered that Sinclair would still have had operational control over the stations. [NYT / Edmund Lee]
  • The FCC argues in court documents that Sinclair misrepresented and “did not fully disclose facts” about the acquisition, which Sinclair denies. [Variety / Ted Johnson]
  • Shares for both Tribune and Sinclair have fallen since news of the judicial review went public. Sinclair has hit a 52-week low, with shares down 22 percent this week alone. [Bloomberg / Todd Shields]

A groundbreaking election in Pakistan

  • Pakistanis will head to the polls on July 25 to vote in a nationwide election that will determine the country’s next prime minister — amid deadly terrorist attacks, censorship in the media, and alleged military interference. Imran Khan and Shahbaz Sharif are the two most likely candidates to lead the nation. [CNN / Euan McKirdy]
  • Khan, a center-right candidate and former cricket star, is breaking the status quo as a candidate running in the PTI party, which is outside of Pakistan’s typically two-party system. [USA Today / Abdul Salam]
  • The election will fill 849 general seats in the country’s National Assembly and four provincial assemblies. [Times of India]
  • Human rights activists have called the election, racked with deadly violence by extremist groups and fears of military influence, the “dirtiest election” since the establishment of the country’s democracy. [AP / Kathy Gannon and Munir Ahmed]
  • Authorities have deployed 371,000 troops across the country to protect the election. Activists are concerned that they will try to influence and micromanage civilians into voting against the PMLN. [Reuters / Idrees Ali and Saad Sayeed]
  • A generation of energetic young voters ages 18 to 25 will vote for the first time in the coming election. Including those ages 26 to 35, this generation makes up 43 percent of the vote. [Al Jazeera / Saba Aziz and Alia Chughtai]
  • A law allowing transgender people to run in elections passed in May. Now 13 trans people are competing for seats across the country. [First Post]
  • There will likely be “significant changes” in who leads the government. That doesn’t mean there will be much change in policy or progression. [Observer Research Foundation / Sushant Sareen]


  • A duck boat capsized at Table Rock Lake in Missouri, killing 17 people and injuring seven. Duck boats, known for their ability to drive on land and in water, have killed 40 other people since 1999. [WTOP]
  • Roseanne Barr released a bizarre new minute-long video explaining the racist tweet she sent about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett that led to the cancellation of her eponymous ABC sitcom. “I thought the b*tch was white,” Barr screams in the video, a lit cigarette in hand. [YouTube / Roseanne Barr]
  • Egyptian archaeologists have found and opened a 2,000-year-old tomb to discover three mummies and a mysterious red liquid. People around the world were concerned that opening the tomb would set off an ancient mummy curse, but things are fine ... for now. [USA Today / Ryan W. Miller]
  • Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is joining the cast of Teen Mom OG, the MTV reality show about women who got pregnant as teenagers. Bristol famously got pregnant at 17 while her very conservative Republican mother was running for vice president of the United States. [Yahoo / Kylie Mar]


“Donald Trump is betraying America as an imperfect place striving for perfection. What makes this nation rich [and] entrepreneurial is its endless inventiveness. … Trump’s decision to close doors and build walls is antithetical to the principles that make this nation a magnet to others.” [Ilan Stavans for the column “One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism” / McSweeney’s]

Watch this: What a conductor actually does onstage

It’s more than just dancing around. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell and Kimberly Mas]

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