7.1.2024

 

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Good morning. It's Monday, July 1, and we're covering snap elections in France, the first hurricane of the season, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

France's Parliamentary Elections

French voters headed to the polls yesterday for the first round of parliamentary elections. Exit polls show the nationalist-populist National Rally in the lead with 33% of the vote as turnout approached 70%, the highest in 40 years. 

 

French President Emmanuel Macron called snap elections last month when the National Rally defeated centrists in the European Union's parliamentary elections (see previous write-up). Observers suggest that decision backfired, with Macron's centrist Together for the Republic coalition now trailing in third place (22%) after the left-wing New Popular Front (29%).

 

On July 7, leading candidates without an outright majority will advance to a second round of elections to determine the makeup of France's 577-member National Assembly (see overview). Macron has vowed to remain president until 2027 regardless of the results; however, if the National Rally places first on Sunday, Macron will appoint a prime minister from the party as part of a power-sharing system.

 

Beryl Barrels West

Hurricane Beryl strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane yesterday, becoming the earliest on record to reach Category 4 status in the Atlantic. The storm will pass directly over St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, this morning.

 

The first hurricane of the season, Beryl rapidly picked up steam over the open ocean, intensifying from a tropical depression to a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) in 42 hours. Meteorologists credited record warm ocean surface temperatures in the region with fueling the system. Beryl is expected to cross the Caribbean Sea midweek, potentially making landfall in Jamaica Wednesday before continuing on to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (see trajectory).

 

Hurricane season runs from June through November, but peaks in September—experts estimated this year to be particularly active (see previous write-up), with between four and seven Category 3 storms or higher. 

 

Presidential Immunity

The Supreme Court is set to rule today on whether a president is immune from prosecution over official acts conducted while in the White House. The case stems from former President Donald Trump's challenge to four felony charges over alleged interference with the 2020 election (see list).

 

Trump's legal team maintains current and former presidents must be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate before facing criminal prosecution—an argument rejected by lower courts. Justices' questions during oral arguments in April suggest the court is unlikely to rule in favor of absolute immunity but may consider partial immunity. 

 

The Supreme Court is also set to rule on three other cases today, a rare session in which the court has extended rulings past June. Pending decisions include whether states can limit content on social media sites and a case on credit card swipe fees.

In partnership with SmartAsset

7 Mistakes When Choosing A Financial Advisor

 

Working with a financial advisor can be a crucial part of any healthy retirement plan.

 

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For many, knowing how to find a vetted fiduciary is the most confusing task of all. That's why SmartAsset developed a free quiz to help match you with up to 3 vetted financial advisors serving your area, each legally bound to work in your best interest. It's never too late to plan to work toward a comfortable retirement. Get your financial advisor matches today.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> "Inside Out 2" crosses $1B at global box office, becoming the fastest animation film to break the $1B mark in just 19 days after its release (More

> San Jose Sharks take Boston University's Macklin Celebrini with top pick in 2024 NHL Draft (More) | See complete list of all 225 draft picks (More) | India tops South Africa to win T20 Cricket World Cup (More)

> Simone Biles win's Team USA trials all-around competition to qualify for her third Olympics (More) | Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone breaks her own world record in the 400-meter hurdles to win the Team USA track and field Olympic trials (More

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Science & Technology

> NASA's Odyssey spacecraft completes 100,000 orbits around Mars, more than two decades after launching; agency releases snapshot of Olympus Mons, the solar system's largest volcano (More

> Gene silencing technology reduces misfolded proteins known as prions by 80% in mouse trials; approach may lead to new therapies for some neurodegenerative diseases (More) | How prion diseases like mad cow and fatal familial insomnia work (More, w/video)

> Researchers identify brain regions associated with the sensation of feeling full; study finds new weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Zepbound act on the neurons (More) | How do GLP-1 drugs work? (More, w/video)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower Friday (S&P 500 -0.4%, Dow -0.1%, Nasdaq -0.7%) following release of data on inflation and consumer sentiment (More)

> US federal judge rules cryptocurrency exchange Binance must face the majority of a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (More)

> DVD rental company Redbox files for bankruptcy after defaulting on loans and missing payroll for employees (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> President Joe Biden meets with family at Camp David amid Democratic supporters' concerns over the president's fitness to run in the 2024 election (More

> Iran's presidential race heads to a runoff election between reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian and hard-liner Saeed Jalili; voter turnout was 40%, lowest in the Islamic Republic's history (More

> South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announces cabinet, which includes the opposition party for the first time, following the election in May (More)

In partnership with SmartAsset

Vanguard vs. Fidelity vs. Schwab

 

Who are you partnered with? It’s no secret these could be considered three of the most popular brokerage firms. But they stack up slightly differently when it comes to fees and their specific suite of services. Learn more about who should work with Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab.

 

Try SmartAsset's free quiz to get matched with up to 3 vetted financial advisors serving your area. While your advisor matches may not necessarily be associated with the above institutions, consulting a fiduciary can be a great first step to helping make sure you're on track to meet your retirement goals. Get your financial advisor matches today.

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Etcetera
 

Theodore Roosevelt's pocket watch has reappeared.

 

America's best mountain towns.

 

See the finalists for a drone photo competition.

 

... and pictures on the theme of shadows

 

Mesmerizing time-lapse videos of plants growing. (via YouTube)

 

Why you should never hold in a sneeze.

 

A handy guide to each type of recyclable plastic.

 

Waste time helping the internet check 1 million boxes.

 

Clickbait: The joy of chicken-sizing.

 

Historybook: Civil War Battle of Gettysburg begins (1863); Canada becomes a country (1867); Abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe dies (1896); Princess Diana born (1961); China regains sovereignty over Hong Kong (1997).

"Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."

- Princess Diana

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*Disclosure: "Journal of Retirement Study Winter" (2020). The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.

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