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The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority preserved a Republican-held South Carolina congressional district on May 23, rejecting a lower-court ruling that said the district discriminated against black voters. In a 6-3 decision, the court held that the state’s legislature did nothing wrong during redistricting when it moved 30,000 Democratic-leaning black residents to a different district. The case presented the court with the tricky issue of how to separate race from politics. The state argued that partisan politics, not race, and a population boom in coastal areas explain the congressional map. Moving voters based on their politics is permissible, the Supreme Court ruled.

Taiwan scrambled jets and put missile, naval, and land units on alert over Chinese military exercises being conducted around the self-governing island democracy, where a new president took office this week. China’s military said its two-day exercises around Taiwan were “punishment” for separatist forces seeking Taiwanese independence. In his inauguration address on Monday, Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te called for Beijing to stop its military intimidation, and pledged to “neither yield nor provoke” in the face of aggression from China’s Communist Party leadership.

The House Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment in the annual defense policy bill on May 22 that, if it passes Congress, would force the Pentagon to rehire U.S. troops who were fired for refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccine. The 2025 bill, titled the Service Member Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act, will serve as the base text for forthcoming debate as it makes its way through Congress.

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