7.1.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, July 1, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a Supreme Court decision over the federal student loan forgiveness program, ESPN cutting some of its on-air talent, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

You share. We listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Student Debt Relief Blocked

The US Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision yesterday, ruled the federal government exceeded its authority by circumventing Congress to enact a $430B plan to cancel up to $20K in federal student loan debts.  

 

The case, Biden v. Nebraska, was brought by six states challenging the administration's student loan forgiveness plan. The court needed to decide if the states had standing, or the right to sue, and if the government lacked authority in using the 2003 HEROES Act to justify the program. While the HEROES Act permits the education secretary to modify programs in response to emergencies, the court ruled it doesn't allow the education secretary to rewrite programs under the Education Act.

 

The court also ruled in a separate but related case, Department of Education v. Brown, brought by two individuals with student debt who wouldn’t benefit from all the provisions of the program. The justices unanimously ruled the individuals lacked legal standing for failing to show how the plan would have caused them injury. See both of the opinions here.

 

More than 40 million borrowers would have been eligible for some debt forgiveness under the plan; 53% currently owe less than $20K (see data). Loan repayments resume in October as part of a debt ceiling bill that passed Congress last month. Interest will begin accruing in September. 

Quick Hits
 

SCOTUS rules website designer may deny services for same-sex couples.

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of a Colorado website designer who claimed a Colorado anti-discrimination law violated her right to free speech because it required her to create wedding websites for same-sex couples, a message inconsistent with her religious beliefs. Read the court's opinion here.

 

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro barred from running for office.

Brazil's federal electoral court voted 5-2 to ban Bolsonaro from public office for the next eight years. The court voted to convict the former leader for abuse of political power and misuse of media when he cast doubt on the reliability of the country's electronic ballot system ahead of elections last year. The ruling is the first time in the court's history in which a former president has been banned from public office.

 

Apple's market value ends above $3T for the first time.

The milestone makes Apple the first publicly traded company to close above a $3T market valuation. Apple's shares rose 2.3% to $193.97 at close Friday, bringing its market value to $3.05T. The tech company briefly surpassed $3T in intraday trading in January 2022 before falling below that level at close.

 

Alan Arkin, Oscar winner for 'Little Miss Sunshine,' dies at 89.

Arkin, who was an early member of Chicago's Second City improv club, made his Broadway debut in 1961 and won a Tony for his performance in 1963's "Enter Laughing." Over his seven-decade career, Arkin appeared in over 100 films, including "Little Miss Sunshine," for which he won an Oscar for his role as the grandfather in a dysfunctional family. He recently starred in Netflix's “The Kominsky Method." 

 

ESPN lays off 20 on-air positions as part of cost-saving measure.

The departing commentators include NBA analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Jalen Rose, NFL analyst Keyshawn Johnson, NFL reporter Suzy Kolber, and television personality Max Kellerman. ESPN is expected to pay out their contracts. In a statement Friday, the sports entertainment company said the layoffs would help the network meet its financial targets. 

 

Growth in key US inflation measure drops to lowest level in two years.

The personal consumption expenditures price index—the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge—rose 0.1% month-over-month in May, less than the 0.2% analysts had expected and down from 0.6% growth in April. Excluding food and energy, the index rose 0.3% month-over-month, down from 0.4% in April. The index measures costs consumers pay across a wide swath of items. 

 

Fox News agrees to pay $12M to settle hostile workplace suit.

Abby Grossberg, a former producer for ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson, had sued Fox for harassment and for allegedly being coerced into lying in sworn testimony in the network's defamation case with Dominion Voting Systems. Grossberg was fired shortly after her court filings. 

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Humankind
 

Australian teen becomes first female skateboarder to complete Tony Hawk's "720" trick in a competition. (More)

 

Belgian shot putter steps in to run 100-meter hurdles after teammates' injuries. (More

 

Austin, Texas, doctor spots skin cancer on a man's face during a train ride, saving his life. (More)

 

Diver cleaning ocean finds a working iPhone in a waterproof bag and returns it to its owner. (More

 

Utah bride discovers her mother-in-law was a nurse who helped deliver her when she was born. (More)

 

... and a man proposes midflight with help from fellow passengers (More, w/video)

From our partners: Welcome to beauty reinvented. Don’t love how normal makeup feels or makes you look? Jones Road, founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown, offers a collection of simple, versatile, and clean products like their best-selling Miracle Balm with over 27,000 4 star reviews. This weekend only, get a free “Shut-up You Look Great” mirror with any purchases over $100.

Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Christine B. in Doswell, Virginia.

 

"We were recently camping at Rafter J in Custer, South Dakota. I had put my wet load of laundry into the dryer, loaded my quarters, pushed start and noted the time it would take. I returned when the dryer should have been done and saw it had three more minutes. Two young women saw my perplexed look and said, 'Your laundry wasn't quite dry so we put in an extra quarter to finish it.' And no, they wouldn’t let me return the quarter. I was very touched by their kindness."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping
> Microscopic handbag smaller than a grain of salt sells for $63,750 at auction.

Pickleball injuries may cost Americans up to $500M in medical expenses in 2023.

AAA projects a record 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over Fourth of July weekend

 

Browse 

Ranking the world's most expensive divorces.

> What Barbie's dreamhouse would look like across the US.

> Inside the $35M Gucci penthouse that has been struggling to sell.

Rare deep-sea octopus nursery discovered off Costa Rica

Meet Zeus, the tallest bottle of sparkling wine.

 

Listen 

> A conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on artificial intelligence, Google versus Bing, his favorite way to use ChatGPT, and more.


Watch 

> How flight attendants rebelled and changed the airline industry.

> French firefighter runs 893 feet while on fire, breaks two world records.

Extreme macro footage of stinkbugs hatching

 

Long Read 

> A collection of stories about aliens, UFOs, and unexplainable events.

> Inside one of America's last pencil factories

 

Most Clicked of the Week: Shark pulls a man off his boat in Florida.

 

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).

"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

- Harriet Beecher Stowe, from "Oldtown Folks"

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