Gun Rights Ruling, Ukraine, and the Incredible Mixotroph Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, June 24, and we're covering a landmark gun rights decision, Ukraine's move toward the European Union, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Gun Rights Ruling

The Supreme Court yesterday struck down a New York law restricting the ability of residents to carry firearms outside of the home. The 6-3 decision marks the most significant gun rights ruling by the court in more than a decade.  


Previously, the New York law required residents to demonstrate a specific need to carry a gun outside the home—a measure in addition to obtaining a license of ownership. In the ruling (read here), the court broadly found the right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home to be protected under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Observers say the decision has ramifications for a number of other states with similar restrictions. 


The ruling comes ahead of a highly anticipated decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, which may potentially overturn federal abortion protections. Nine more opinions are expected to be released before the end of June, including a number this morning beginning at 10 am ET. 


In related news, the Senate passed a bipartisan gun reform package last night by a vote of 65-33. The legislation is expected to by approved by the House.

Ukraine Inches Toward EU

European Union leaders formally designated Ukraine as a candidate for membership, an initial step in a yearslong process for the country to potentially join the 27-member bloc.   


The move comes four months into Russia's invasion of the country. While membership in the EU confers political and economic benefits, whether countries must provide military defense for other member nations facing armed aggression remains subject to debate. Moldova, which neighbors Ukraine to the southwest and was part of the former Soviet Union, was also granted candidate status.


Russia has slowly but steadily consolidated its hold on much of Ukraine's eastern Donbas region. Officials estimate Russian artillery strikes are killing between 100 and 200 Ukrainian troops, and injuring another 500, each day.


See updates on the war here.

Jan 6. Hearings (Pt. Five)

The House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the storming of the US Capitol last Jan. 6 held its fifth in a series of public hearings yesterday afternoon. The Democrat-led panel focused on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his aides and allies to pressure and leverage the Justice Department to pursue allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.


Among other revelations, witness testimony revealed at least four GOP lawmakers sought preemptive pardons following the election. Separately, department officials threatened to resign en masse over an effort to promote Jeffrey Clark—an environmental lawyer and Trump ally—in the lead-up to Jan. 6. The FBI searched Clark's home Wednesday, reportedly seizing documents and electronic devices.


In related news, subpoenaed documentary footage from the 2020 Trump Campaign has been purchased by Warner Bros. Discovery. It will stream on Discovery+ later in the summer as a three-part series—a trailer was released yesterday

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Returns as of 6/20/22

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Orlando Magic pick Duke's Paolo Banchero No. 1 in 2022 NBA Draft; Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren goes No. 2 to Oklahoma City (More) | See full list of picks (More)


> Netflix lays off 300 employees as the streamer looks to cut costs (More) | Oscar-nominated producer Robert Katz dies at 79 of lung cancer (More)


> Colorado Avalanche, with 3-1 lead over Tampa Bay Lightning, look to win Stanley Cup tonight (8 pm ET, ABC) in Game 5 (More) | Ole Miss and Oklahoma to square off in Men's College World Series finals this weekend (More)

Science & Technology

> All five "naked eye" planets—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn—to be in alignment when viewed from Earth for the first time since 2004; best visibility begins today (More)


> Immune system T-cells found to interact with skin cells to generate new hair follicles and promote hair growth; study reveals mechanisms in treatments for alopecia (More)


> Food scientists demonstrate method to grow and harvest plants in the absence of light using artificial photosynthesis (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +1.0%, Dow +0.6%, Nasdaq +1.6%) on afternoon rally (More)


> The Food and Drug Administration officially orders Juul e-cigarette products to be removed from the market (More) | See our previous write-up here (More)


> McDonald’s alters franchise awarding process in effort to attract more diverse candidates (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Reported death toll from Afghanistan earthquake rises to more than 1,150; Taliban government calls for international aid (More)


> Biden administration to cancel more than $6B in student loan debt for roughly 200,000 borrowers who allege they were defrauded by their colleges (More) | Education Department to expand Title IX discrimination protections to formally include sexual orientation and gender identity (More) | Title IX history (More)


> Judge approves $1B settlement in case over last year's condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, which killed 98 people; $100M will cover legal fees, $96M will go to owners, while the remainder will go to survivors and victims' families (More)



'We Need to Go In' 

Texas Tribune | Terri Langford. Law enforcement transcripts from the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting suggest some officers wanted to move in—but lacked clear orders. (Read)

The Incredible Mixotroph

TED Talks | Luka Seamus Wright. The slug species Elysia chlorotica—kind of an animal, kind of a plant—is one of the world's most fascinating organisms. (Watch)

Is Google Search Dying?

Atlantic | Charlie Warzel. One of the internet's most widely used tools is becoming increasingly ineffective. (Read, paywall)

The She-Wolf of France

Longreads | Anne Thériault. The story of Queen Isabella, who ousted her husband from the throne before possibly arranging his murder. (Read)



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Ancient Hercules head recovered from famed Antikythera shipwreck.


Bald eagle has a change of heart, adopts a baby hawk.


Astrophotographer captures a stunning space station shot.


Alexa wants to mimic your dead loved ones.


Clickbait: Justin Timberlake apologizes for dancing badly in khakis.


Historybook: Boxing great Jack Dempsey born (1895); First exhibit by Pablo Picasso opens in Paris (1901); HBD actress Mindy Kaling (1979); HBD soccer star Lionel Messi (1987); Condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, kills 98 (2021). 


"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't."

- Jack Dempsey

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