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June 24 - June 30: Week in Review

U.S. Supreme Court Rulings:

  • Louisiana Congressional Districts: After putting a temporary hold on Louisiana from creating a second congressional district that is represented dominantly by African Americans, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the state approval to move forward with creating the new district on Monday. Despite one-third of the state's population being Black, only one of the six districts was a dominantly-Black district before the recent ruling. Read more at Axios.

  • Biden Immigration Policy Stands: The Biden administration announced a new policy in 2021 that instead of attempting to arrest and deport everyone who was caught entering the U.S. illegally, the U.S. would instead prioritize the arrest and deportation of people who were suspected of terrorism or violent crime. Texas and Louisiana sued against the new policy, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a recent hearing that the states did not have the standing to bring that lawsuit. Read more at Axios.

  • Affirmative Action for College Applications Overruled: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that colleges cannot explicitly consider applicants' race in admissions. While many conservatives believed affirmative action in college applications discriminated against white and Asian American applicants, liberals now fear that the decision will further disenfranchise underrepresented groups such as African Americans and Indigenous Americans. Read more at Axios.

  • The Right to Refuse Service to LGTBQ Customers Restored: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that, per the First Amendment, businesses have a right to refuse to serve same-sex couples if doing so would violate the owners' religious beliefs. A web designer from Colorado stated that because the artwork she creates is a form of speech, she should not be required to create speech that is not consistent with her beliefs and therefore should not be required to create content for same-sex couples. Read more at Axios.

  • Biden Student Loan Relief Struck Down: President Biden's student loan relief plan, which provided up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness for individual borrowers who make under $125,000 per year or $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday. Approximately 26 million people out of more than 40 million eligible borrowers applied for student loan cancellation and will now be required to resume monthly student loan payments until a new new resolution is passed. Read more at Axios.

French Riots: As of Friday evening, 45,000 police officers have been deployed in France and 341 people have been arrested so far in a fourth night of rioting in response to a 17-year-old boy of Algerian descent that was shot and killed by police in Marseille, France. A nationwide ban on bus and tram services has been enacted. Read more at BBC News.

Wagner Group Mutiny in Russia Called Off: Vladimir Putin and Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin reached an agreement to end an alleged mutiny that stopped 125 miles south of Moscow on Saturday. Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko welcomed Prigozhin into exile at an abandoned military base in Belarus.

Prigozhin has been promised security, and the Russian criminal case against him has been dropped.

Putin accused the organizers of the mutiny of wanting to see Russian society choked in bloody strife. He then offered the Wagner fighters to sign a contract with the Russian military, return to their families or move to Belarus.

Prigozhin has denied that his self-proclaimed "march for justice" was aimed at toppling Putin. Read more at BBC News and BBC News.

Economy Remains Strong, Consumer Confidence on the Rise: A survey of U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 17-month high of 109.7 in June, reflecting a slowdown in inflation and slightly lessened concerns about a pending recession.

Additionally, the economy grew at an annual 2% pace for the first quarter and continues to expand despite economists forecasting that the economy would slow down sharply this year due to higher interest rates.

The economy is now expected to grow another 1% to 2% in the second quarter, which ended Friday. Read more at MarketWatch & MarketWatch.

Denmark Study Finds Higher Suicide Risk Among Transgender People: A Denmark study that used four decades of health data offered the clearest picture yet of the mental health crises among transgender people specifically. The study found that transgender people in Denmark had 7.7 times the rate of suicide attempts and 3.5 times the rate of suicide deaths compared with the rest of the population. Read more at New York Times.

Mass Shootings in US: This week, Gun Violence Archive reported a total of 13 mass shootings resulting in 52 victims injured and 17 victims dead.

Firefighter Adopts Rescued Newborn Found in Safe Haven Box: Many Americans are familiar with the odd and unusual stories about the legendary phenomenon that is "Florida man," but rarely are that same "Florida man's" positive actions publicly acknowledged. As a publication that is based out of Florida, Zesty Raisin Productions wishes to take a moment to celebrate that very "Florida man," who in this case just so happens to be a firefighter.

A firefighter in Ocala, Florida, was awakened by a 2 a.m. alarm during an overnight shift. The alarm was one he was familiar with but suspected it was just another false alarm. This was an alarm that was designed to notify the fire department that a newborn had been placed in the building's Safe Haven Box, a device that allows someone to safely and anonymously surrender a child with no questions asked.

When the firefighter opened the box, he discovered a healthy infant that was wrapped in a pink blanket and calmly holding a baby bottle.

The firefighter and his wife had been trying to have a baby for more than a decade, and they chose to adopt now-five-month-old Zoey.

Throughout the U.S., there are 148 temperature-controlled Safe Haven Baby Boxes with bassinet-style beds inside. Read more at NBC News.

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