7.2.2024

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, July 2, and we're covering a ruling in the presidential immunity case, a prosthesis breakthrough, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Immunity Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 yesterday in finding the president of the United States has some immunity over actions conducted while in office. The case stems from former President Donald Trump's challenge to four felony charges over alleged interference with the 2020 election.

 

The court’s majority opinion (read here) draws a distinction between official and unofficial acts of the office of the presidency. Trump’s conversations with the attorney general are characterized as official acts, while conversations with others—including then-Vice President Mike Pence—may be categorized as unofficial depending on the context. The court directs lower courts to parse through the allegations to determine which acts may be prosecuted as unofficial acts. 

 

The ruling was one of four the Supreme Court issued on its last day in session. The court kept a pair of state laws on social media content blocked while lower courts reexamine First Amendment considerations; another ruling extended the statute of limitations for businesses to challenge federal regulations. 

 

Boeing Buys Back Supplier

Boeing has agreed to acquire longtime fuselage supplier Spirit AeroSystems for $4.7B as part of efforts to improve the aerospace company's plane quality and safety. The deal comes as both companies have been under scrutiny (see timeline) after a midair door panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

 

The Wichita, Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems was previously owned by Boeing until a spin-off in 2005. Last year, Boeing accounted for 70% of the supplier's revenue. Under the all-stock deal, Spirit AeroSystems will spin off factories that produce parts for Boeing's European rival, Airbus. The transaction is subject to approval from regulators and Spirit AeroSystems' shareholders. It is expected to close by the middle of next year.  

 

Separately, the Justice Department is reportedly preparing to present Boeing with a plea deal to avoid trial over fraud conspiracy charges tied to the deaths of 346 people killed in two crashes in 2018 and 2019.  

 

Bionic Breakthrough

A bionic device developed at MIT allows people to control a leg prosthetic with their minds, according to a new study. The device can yield a more natural gait and reduce phantom limb pain, among other benefits.

 

The prosthetic takes advantage of muscles’ tendency to move in tandem, with control of one leg muscle signaling a complementary action in the other through the body's nervous system. While traditional surgery severs this muscle connection at the amputation site, a below-the-knee surgery can retain them. A bionic prosthetic can then use electrodes to detect muscle movements, resulting in a more natural gait than traditional robotic legs (more, w/video). In contrast, traditional prosthetics rely on preprogrammed gaits responding to environmental factors like terrain. 

 

The study has the potential to change the standard of care for hundreds of thousands of Americans who live with the loss of a leg. Researchers hope to make the bionic prosthetic commercially available within five years.

In partnership with Pendulum

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 137th Wimbledon Championships began yesterday from the All England Club in London; see full preview for both women's and men's tournaments (More

> Ismail Kadare, world-renowned Albanian novelist and poet who was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature 15 times, dies at 88 (More

> Majority owners of the Boston Celtics plan to put the defending NBA champions up for sale; the franchise is valued at a reported $4.7B (More

 

Science & Technology

> YouTube introduces new policy allowing users to request the takedown of AI-generated content simulating their face or voice (More

> Fossil discovery suggests different species of grape plants proliferated following the extinction of the dinosaurs; findings include a 60-million-year-old species, the oldest ever found in the Western Hemisphere (More

> Engineers develop nanorobots capable of killing cancer cells in mouse studies; approach uses a "kill switch" that activates only in the presence of a solid tumor (More

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +0.3%, Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.8%) to kick off a holiday-shortened trading week (More

> European regulators charge Meta with violating new antitrust laws by forcing Facebook and Instagram users to pay to avoid seeing ads on the platforms (More)

> Investor Keith Gill, known as "Roaring Kitty," discloses 6.6% stake in Chewy; pet retailer's shares rise in premarket trading before closing down nearly 7% (More)  

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Politics & World Affairs

> Israeli military orders evacuations in part of Gaza's southern city of Khan Younis ahead of possible renewed ground operation in the enclave's second-largest city (More) | Israel releases head of al-Shifa hospital after seven-month detention (More)

> Hurricane Beryl makes landfall on Caribbean island of Carriacou in Grenada as Category 4 storm with a maximum of 150 mph winds; the storm is expected to reach Jamaica tomorrow (More) | See our previous write-up (More)

> House Judiciary Committee sues Attorney General Merrick Garland over refusal to hand over recordings of President Joe Biden's classified documents interview (More) | Ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon begins four-month prison sentence for 2022 contempt of Congress conviction (More

 

In-Depth

> The Queen of Cups

Air Mail | Adam Hay-Nicholls. In the 1930s, Nazis were in pursuit of the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus Christ was believed to drink from during the Last Supper. The woman said to have safeguarded it was a 40-year-old cleaner in Valencia, Spain. (Read

> We Are Not on a Break

Slate | Luke Winkie. For those mourning a breakup, an entire industry has formed to coach them into winning back their ex. Inside the ludicrous—and lucrative—world of relationship rehabilitation. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

The origin of bowling shirts

 

Greece introduces option for six-day work week.

 

Chipotle portion sizes might vary as much as 87%.

 

Epic creations top sand sculpting competition

 

A Japanese soda that turns into jelly in your tummy.

 

... and enjoy a cup of s'mores-flavored ramen.

 

... or a 14-sauce Frankenstein concoction.  

 

An aquatic cat that quacks like a duck. (w/video) 

 

Clickbait: Say hello to the world's smartest pet chicken

 

Historybook: Thurgood Marshall, first Black US Supreme Court justice, born (1908); Amelia Earhart disappears on round-the-world flight (1937); Ernest Hemingway dies (1961); Businessman Sam Walton opens first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas (1962); Civil Rights Act is signed into law (1964).

"Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on."

- Thurgood Marshall

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