10 things you need to know today: July 1, 2023

Supreme Court limits LGBTQ+ protections in businesses, Supreme Court strikes down Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, and more

Protesters over student loan debt in front of the Supreme Court
(Image credit: Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Supreme Court limits LGBTQ+ protections in businesses

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that businesses can turn away LGBTQ+ clients, creating an exception for laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Court's conservative majority, in a 6-3 decision, sided with Lorie Smith, a Colorado web designer opposed to same-sex marriage. Smith challenged Colorado's anti-discrimination law, claiming that requiring her to serve LGBTQ+ couples unconstitutionally forced her to partake in something she didn't believe in. The Court sided with Smith in the controversial decision. Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, stated that "the government may not interfere with an 'uninhibited marketplace of ideas,'" adding that the constitutional right to the First Amendment overrides any state law.

NPR The Washington Post

2. Supreme Court strikes down Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday struck down the Biden administration's plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of Americans. In a 6-3 decision, the court's conservative majority held that the administration had gone beyond its power in creating the plan, which would have forgiven approximately $400 billion and allowed borrowers to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debts. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said that the law cited by the Biden administration, the 2003 HEROES Act, "Requires that Congress speak clearly before a department secretary can unilaterally alter large sections of the American economy." Following the ruling, President Biden unveiled new measures to try and provide additional debt relief.

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NBC News ABC News

3. More than 1,300 arrested in France as riots continue over police-involved death

More than 1,300 protesters were arrested in France on Friday, as violent unrest continued across the nation in the wake of a police-involved shooting death of a 17-year-old. The protests marked a fourth straight night of unrest throughout the country, as the French Interior Ministry said that 1,311 protesters were arrested. The ministry added that 2,560 fires had been reported, in addition to a number of attacks on police officers. Many of the protesters reportedly identified with the teenager, Nahel, who was of Algerian and Moroccan descent. Nahel was shot and killed this past Tuesday by police during a traffic stop, in a country where gun violence is exceedingly rare. The officer who allegedly killed Nahel is being investigated.

The New York Times CNN

4. Brazil’s Bolsonaro banned from holding public office until 2030

Brazil's highest electoral court on Friday banned the country's former president, Jair Bolsonaro, from seeking public office for the next eight years. Bolsonaro will be eligible to run for president again in 2030, when he will be 75 years old. The court declared that Bolsonaro had abused his powers and hurled "immoral" and "appalling lies" during last year's presidential election, which he lost to current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro spread unfounded claims of voter fraud and election tampering following his loss, culminating in his supporters storming government buildings in Brazil's capital city, in a visual similar to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The Guardian The Economist

5. 5G wireless signals could begin causing airport disruptions

Major wireless carriers are expected to activate 5G wireless systems near major airports on Saturday, a move that could potentially cause even more disruptions to an already raucous summer travel season. Aviation groups have been warning for years that 5G signals could interfere with aircraft's electrical systems, potentially causing a problem with the devices that measure how far an airplane is from the ground. However, while some wireless companies began rolling out 5G networks last year, most airlines were unaffected at that time. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has warned, though, that delays are more likely this year due to a percentage of planes across the country that haven't been outfitted against 5G interference.

The Associated Press

6. Fox News settles lawsuit from fired producer Abby Grossberg

Fox News on Friday settled a pair of lawsuits brought by fired producer Abby Grossberg for $12 million, Grossberg's attorney said. Grossberg, who was previously a producer for the now-canceled "Tucker Carlson Tonight," filed lawsuits against the network and Carlson earlier this year, alleging that Fox had forced her to give false testimony during the Dominion defamation case. Grossberg had also alleged that a culture of sexism, antisemitism, and racism existed at Carlson's show. Fox denied the allegations, saying in a statement they were "pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter without further litigation." Grossberg said the settlement "represents a positive step by the network regarding its treatment of women and minorities in the workplace."

Axios CBS News

7. Mike Pence makes surprise visit to Ukraine

Former Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to Ukraine this past Thursday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The former vice president, who is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination, met with Zelensky as the latter is working on continuing Ukraine's counteroffensive against the Russian invasion. It also comes at a watershed moment for both countries, as Russian President Vladimir Putin attempts to deal with the backlash from the attempted Wagner Group rebellion. Pence's visit is a break-step from the majority of the GOP, with his old boss, Donald Trump, consistently praising Putin. Most polls also show that Republicans also remain largely disillusioned with supporting Ukraine's efforts.

NBC News The Washington Post

8. George Santos makes first court appearance since pleading not guilty

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) appeared in federal court on Friday following his indictment, where prosecutors presented the defense with 80,000 pages of documents related to the case. Santos was back in court for the first time since pleading not guilty to the indictment, with charges the New York congressman with 13 counts of fraud related to campaign finance violations, misuse of Covid-19 funds, and lying about his personal finances. Santos' next hearing will take place on Sep. 7, one week before Congress resumes for its fall session. This marks the latest chapter in the saga of Santos, who has become nationally known for admittedly making numerous false claims about his background, education, and credentials.

CNN The Associated Press

9. ESPN lays off a slew of on-air commentators

ESPN laid off a series of top on-air commentators on Friday, shocking the sports world as some of the most high-profile names on television got the pink slip. Among those let go, according to reports, were NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy, analyst and former NBA star Jalen Rose, ESPN commentator Max Kellerman, former NFL star and broadcaster Keyshawn Johnson, and NFL reporter Suzy Kolber. The layoffs are part of a cost-cutting measure by ESPN's parent company, Disney, in an ongoing effort to clash costs across a number of their subsidiaries. Kolber tweeted that she joined "the many hard-working colleagues who have been laid off...longetivity for a woman in the business is something I'm especially proud of."

Sports Illustrated

10. Actor Alan Arkin dies at 89

Alan Arkin, a veteran actor whose work spanned seven decades of screen acting, passed away this past week at the age of 89. Arkin's sons, Adam, Matthew, and Anthony, confirmed their father's death, saying in a statement that he was "a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and a man. A loving husband, father, grand and great grandfather, he was adored and will be deeply missed." Arkin won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 2006's "Little Miss Sunshine," and is also known for his role in the Best Picture-winning 2012 film "Argo." He was also the recipient of a BAFTA Award and Golden Globe Award, alongside other accolades.


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Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.