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Need To Know.
Turmoil in Poland.
Protesters took to the streets in Poland after the government moved to purge nearly one-third of the country's Supreme Court justices. The country's populist parliament, who has increasingly clashed with the judicial branch, passed a law requiring justices to step down at age 65 - the law would force the retirement of 27 of the country's 72 justices. It also calls for the creation of a disciplinary chamber to review (and punish) judges, which protesters say threatens judicial independence  So far, the court's Chief Justice has defied the order and returned to work, setting up a showdown with President Andrzej Duda's executive branch. Critics of the move have accused Duda and the Law and Justice party, the country's largest political force, of trying to subvert democratic norms. 

See video of the protests here

Race-Based Admissions.
The Education and Justice Departments jointly announced Tuesday the rollback of a number of Obama-era guidelines that encouraged the use of race in university admissions. The move was part of a larger rescission of 24 similar documents (see list here), and the administration has said it will encourage "race-neutral" admissions. Previous 2008 guidance from the Bush administration (now reposted on the Department of Education's website) advised that race-based admissions could be used to remedy past institutional discrimination, or to diversify a student body as long as it was one eligibility criteria among many and considered on a case-by-case basis. The guidelines are not federal law - the Supreme Court has upheld affirmative action in university admissions as recently as 2016 - but outline the federal view on implementing race-based policies. Running afoul of the guidance may put schools at risk of losing federal funding. 

Lingering Effects from Russian Poisoning.
Two more individuals in southwestern England have been hospitalized after being poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent. The couple lived in the same neighborhood as the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, who was nearly killed in a targeted poisoning in March. Officials believe the second poisoning was probably not a targeted attack, but arose from residual amounts of the agent missed during a massive decontamination effort. Officials blamed Russia for the original attack, which triggered a wave of international condemnation and the dismissal of Russian diplomats from over 20 countries. The chemical agent itself, called Novichok, is a military-grade nerve agent developed during the Cold War by Russia and is about 5 to 8 times more deadly than the chemically-related VX nerve agent. 

In The Know.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Defending hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut sets record, eats 74 hot dogs (plus buns) in 10 minutes (More
British police investigating 6 sexual assault claims against Kevin Spacey (More)   
Wimbledon favorites 2-seed Caroline Wozniacki, 8-seed Petra Kvitova among top seeds to lose in early rounds (More) | Full schedule, scores (More)

Science & Technology.

Study shows combining some antibiotics can make them more effective and help combat the rise of superbugs (More) | What is antibiotic resistance? (More)
Researchers create artificial neural network out of DNA that can "read" handwritten numbers, shows potential for programming artificial intelligence into bio-based circuits (More)
Hawaii bans sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemical compounds that kill young coral reefs; law takes effect in 2021 (More)

Business & Markets.

CEO of LaCroix sparkling water accused of inappropriately touching two pilots (More) | Barnes & Noble CEO terminated for violating unspecified company policy (More)
Shares of Swiss commodities giant Glencore fall 8% after US Dept of Justice announces corruption probe (More)
Qatar to buy New York City's landmark Plaza Hotel for $600M (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

Senate Intelligence Committee backs report from intelligence community saying Russia attempted to interfere in 2016 election (More)
Uganda rolls out daily tax for using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp (More)
Three former wrestlers accuse Rep. Jim Jordan (R, OH-4) of ignoring sexual abuse claims during coaching days, complicating potential bid to succeed Paul Ryan as House Speaker (More)
In Depth.

Why Haven’t We Found Aliens Yet? 

Vox | Liv Boeree. The Fermi Paradox says that if extraterrestrial life is as abundant as we think, then we should’ve met some of our galactic companions by now - so why haven’t we? This paradox has led many to believe that we are, unfortunately, alone in the universe. A new paper explains why our loneliness in the galaxy may be eerily reasonable

Google Is Building A City Of The Future. 

Politico Magazine | Nancy Scola. In Toronto’s beaten-down eastern waterfront, Google has decided to take the reins and build something new - a self-sustaining smart city. With wastebaskets that automatically sort out recycling and heated sidewalks that predict the weather, the city will be a utopia of accountability and efficiency. While the city functions entirely on algorithms and collected data, many fear for their privacy and liberty. See inside the perfect city
A record 47 million Americans hit the road this 4th of July

Protester makes 4th of July climb up the base of the Statue of Liberty

The top iPhone apps of all time

The number of teens with summer jobs has plunged, and the type of work they do is changing fast

50 States, 50 Dishes - America’s favorite foods from each state.

Fake news gets more dangerous with the advent of "deepfake" videos

How does your commuting time compare to averages around the country?

Best Buy will no longer be selling CDs

Clickbait: China mourns the sudden death of psychic World Cup cat

Historybook: 26th Amendment signed, lowers voting age from 21 to 18 in US (1971); Arthur Ashe is first African American to win Wimbledon (1975); Dolly the Sheep is first cloned mammal (1996); RIP Ted Williams (2002). 
"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome."
- Arthur Ashe

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