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Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators on college campuses across the U.S. clashed with police officers yesterday and drew crackdowns from administrators.

Hundreds of officers in riot gear last night arrested demonstrators who had occupied a building at Columbia University’s campus in Manhattan. The university had said earlier that it would expel students who did so. Officers also pepper-sprayed protesters to keep them from taking over a building at the City College of New York; officials at Portland State University shut down the campus after students broke into a library; and protesters stormed a barricade at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Elsewhere, there were signs that disruptions were waning. Police officers put an end to an eight-day occupation of an administration building at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. At Brown University, demonstrators agreed to dismantle their encampment after administrators said they would vote on divesting funds from companies connected to Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

Police officers made scores of new arrests. More than 1,000 protesters have been taken into custody since the arrests of at least 108 people at Columbia on April 18 kicked off a wave of student protests.

Prosecutors have alerted the judge, Juan Merchan, to four new potential violations, which will be discussed at another hearing on Thursday morning.

The court also heard testimony from Keith Davidson, a Beverly Hills lawyer who detailed how he had worked out hush-money payments for his clients, a Playboy model and a porn star, who were trying to sell their claims about sexual encounters with Trump.

Separately, Trump told Time magazine that he would be willing to deploy the military to help deport migrants and hedged on the possibility of political violence after the election.

Changpeng Zhao, the billionaire founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, was sentenced on Tuesday to four months in prison, a much lighter penalty than other crypto executives have faced since the industry imploded in 2022.

Not long ago, Binance was the most powerful crypto company in the world, processing as much as two-thirds of all transactions, and Zhao stood atop the multitrillion-dollar industry. But Binance also faced investigations by several U.S. agencies into whether Zhao had broken the law to build his empire.

Prosecutors had asked for a three-year sentence for Zhao, who pleaded guilty last year to a money-laundering violation. Zhao’s sentence was an extraordinary contrast to that of Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and is serving 25 years in prison for fraud.

Zhao still has a fortune estimated by Forbes at $33 billion, and he is already planning his next act.

Honeybees are critical pollinators under legislative protection in much of the U.S. So when a swarm of bees searching for a place to build a hive invaded my colleague Sarah Kliff’s home, she found that they can be very hard to evict.

Lives lived: Paul Auster was a signature New York writer who reanimated the noir novel and made Brooklyn almost a character in his work. He died at 77.

  • Mourning and laughter: After a comedian’s sudden death, stand-ups came together to grieve, and to confront comedy’s eternal question: Too soon?

The nominees for the Tony Awards, which recognize Broadway’s top shows, were announced yesterday. “Hell’s Kitchen,” a semi-autobiographical Alicia Keys musical, and “Stereophonic,” a play about a group of musicians struggling to record an album, tied for the most nods with 13 Tony nominations.

“For theatergoers, this is an exciting time, with so many options,” our theater reporter Michael Paulson said. “There are 35 shows now running, and they’re really varied in terms of style and content. For producers and investors, it’s a bit scarier, because Broadway has just become riskier than ever. So now everyone is watching to see how the new shows fare, and what kind of difference the nominations make.”

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