7.3.2023

 

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Need To Know
 

Happy Birthday (Eve), America

Congratulations, America—Tuesday marks the 247th commemoration of the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. The Congress actually voted to separate from Great Britain two days earlier, and most didn't sign the document until August ... and some argue the US didn't really become a country until we began operating under the Constitution in 1789.

 

Still, since then, the country has grown from 13 colonies with about 2.5 million people to 50 states and 14 territories with a population of more than 330 million. The economy has swelled to over $26T, with a median household income above $70K. 

 

Scientific and technological advances—public sanitation, the germ theory of disease, and more—have revolutionized public health, with our citizens living 35 years longer on average since the mid-20th century. Deaths during childbirth have dropped fiftyfold, while the child mortality rate—the percentage of children dying before age five—has plummeted from 45% to 1%. 

 

We've built almost 4 million miles of paved roads and more than 5,000 public airports. More than 2.7 million miles of power lines electrify the country, with about 85% of households having access to broadband internet and 92% having at least one computer. In 1800, 95% of the population lived in rural areas, and now about 83% live in urban areas.

 

Almost 90% of adults have a high school degree or equivalent, while just over one-third have a college degree. About 45 million immigrants call America home—the most of any country—while a roughly equal number of international tourists visit each year.

 

While there will always be challenges to face and improvements to make, we've come a long way since the beginning. So grab a hot dog (or alternative) and your drink of choice—here's to the next 247 years.

 

PS—Please be careful with fireworks, unlike this family.

 

Markets Close Strong Half

The US economy grew at a much stronger rate in the first quarter of the year, according to revised figures released Thursday, reporting annualized growth of 2%—a larger-than-normal revision from 1.3%. Economists credited robust consumer spending and higher-than-expected exports for the boost. 

 

Meanwhile, the stock market ended one of its better first halves of the year Friday, with the Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Dow up 31.7%, 15.9%, and 3.8% for the year, respectively. It marks the Nasdaq's best start to a year since 1983, due mostly to growth in tech stocks amid a surge in AI development. 

 

Key to the success was Apple, which saw its stock price jump over 2% Friday to close the day with a market capitalization of $3T, a first for a publicly traded company

 

French Protests Continue

Protests in France over the Tuesday police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk during a traffic stop stretched into the weekend, with more than 3,000 people detained and roughly 45,000 officers deployed to quell demonstrations across the country.

 

According to reports, two officers attempted to stop Merzouk after observing him driving erratically in morning traffic. Police opened fire on Merzouk's vehicle after stopping him, saying he tried to hit them while driving away. Video later posted on social media appeared to undermine those claims—though Merzouk did appear to try and flee the scene (see here). 

 

Widespread property damage and looting have accompanied the protests following the killing, including reportedly crashing a car into a local mayor's home and setting it on fire. 

 

Observers say Merzouk's killing has become a flashpoint for long-simmering accusations of misconduct and racial bias by French police. See photos from the protests here.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 136th Wimbledon Championships begin today from the All England Club in London; see full preview for both women's and men's tournament (More)

> Birmingham Stallions top Pittsburgh Maulers to win back-to-back United States Football League championships (More) | Team USA beats Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 to advance to Gold Cup quarterfinals; Jesus Ferreira becomes first US men's national team player with consecutive hat tricks (More)

> Screen Actors Guild and film producers temporarily avert strike as deadline to agree on new contract pushed to July 12 (More) | Jo Lindner, YouTube bodybuilding star, dies at 30 of an aneurysm (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Analysis reveals causes of heart failure in patient who received first successful transplant of a genetically modified pig heart; concludes death was not due to acute rejection of the organ (More)

> Australia becomes first country to allow prescription psilocybin and MDMA to treat depression (More)

> NASA reestablishes contact with its Martian helicopter Ingenuity after 63 days; communication was lost after the craft landed behind a hill, blocking its signal (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with SmartAsset

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +1.2%, Dow +0.8%, Nasdaq 1.5%) (More) | Tesla deliveries rise 83% year-over-year to more than 466,000 vehicles sent (More

> US average prices for a gallon of gas fall to $3.54 ahead of holiday weekend; price is $1.32 lower per gallon than last year but above historical averages (More)

> Twitter says users will temporarily only be able to read a certain number of posts per day, citing scraping and “system manipulation” concerns (More)

From our partners: This Princeton grad's startup raised $161 million to help people plan for retirement—SmartAsset's free tool will match you with up to three vetted financial advisors serving your area who can help you work toward financial freedom. Try it out for yourself.

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Thousands of hotel workers in Los Angeles strike Saturday, demand immediate $5 wage hike, cheaper healthcare; hotels expected to operate through the holiday (More) | Nearly 8,000 Canadian west coast port workers on strike over work automation and cost of living (More)

> At least two people killed, 28 others injured after shooting at Baltimore-area block party (More) | Seven people shot, two injured after being trampled in nightclub shooting in Wichita, Kansas (More)

> At least 52 killed, dozens injured in western Kenya after truck loses control, rams pedestrians and parked cars (More)

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Etcetera
 

Fifty-six amazing facts about America.

 

How fireworks work.

 

... and why some cities are rethinking them.

 

The history of the American barbecue.

 

Twelve common flag-etiquette faux pas

 

Test your grasp of US history with the Independence Day quiz

 

Meet Gouverneur Morris, the forgotten Founding Father.

 

The ultra-American treat? American cheese-topped apple pie.

 

Clickbait: Time to start planning for the nation's semiquincentennial

 

Historybook: Battle of Gettysburg ends on Pickett’s Charge (1863); Dow Jones publishes its first stock average (1884); Tom Cruise born (1962); Musician Jim Morrison dies (1971); Actress Olivia Munn born (1980)

"I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration."

- John Adams, July 3, 1776

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.

 

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