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Cramm for 6/16/20
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ICYMI, we're the day's news is still being read on our podcast in English, German, Italian, and Japanese. Head on over here to listen on all the platforms. (And don't miss our interview with DoSomething.org!)


THE HIGHLIGHTS

Yesterday was a big day for LGBTQ+ rights. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Back in 1964, the US gov passed the Civil Rights Act. ICYDK, this act pretty much ended segregation in public places - plus banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin. Meaning people could no longer be fired due to any of those factors. Only a slight problem...there’s been some debate over whether the Civil Rights Act applies to LGBTQ+ people. So recently, the Supreme Court weighed in. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

The Supremes voted 6-3 that...the Civil Rights Act doessss protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in the workplace. Yes, really. Big big deal, since up until this ruling, it was legal in, oh, more than half of US states to fire workers for being gay, bisexual, or transgender. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Surprise. See: Trump’s had the chance to nominate two justices to the Supreme Court over the course of his years as prez - giving the court a strong Republican majority. And the Trump team apparently urged the court to rule against LGBTQ+ workers in this case. Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ activists across the US, who saw this ruling as a major win, brought out the streamers

 

SO…?

This is one of the most important rulings on LGBTQ+ rights in recent years. TBD on whether more change is on the way. 


THE ACTION

USA: That’s not the only thing the Supreme Court’s been up to. Case in point: the Supremes shook their heads to hearing cases challenging qualified immunity. Aka a policy that protects police (and other public officials) from lawsuits for conduct that doesn’t involve a “clearly established” violation of a law. Cue controversy, especially since this is a policy that’s gotten a lot of attention lately. Meanwhile, everyone is talking about Oluwatoyin Salau. You know her as a 19 year old African American woman from Florida who’s a Black Lives Matter activist. Last week she went missing...and yesterday, she was found dead along with a 75 year old woman. Authorities have reportedly arrested a suspect. Stay tuned. And in other news, the New York Police Dept is disbanding its anti-crime units. Because, protests. 

 

CORONAVIRUS: Global virus cases surpassed 8 million. Not a typo. This came as the FDA trashed its emergency approval of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine - the malaria drugs that Prez Trump’s rec’d as potential virus treatments. The agency said the drugs were “unlikely to be effective” - coming after lots of studies announced basically the same thing. In other gov news, more than 1.5 million US gov workers have been furloughed or laid off amid the pandemic. Also in the US: more than half of all four-year colleges and universities there won’t require SAT or ACT scores for fall admissions. You read that right. Over in the sports world, the US Open - minus fans - is apparently still on. So is the WNBA. What’s not: the 2021 Oscars, which are being delayed by a couple of months. 

 

WORLD: The Supreme Court’s been busy. Hint: aside from LGBTQ+ rights and qualified immunity, the court’s also got its mind on sanctuary cities. You know sanctuary cities as cities that don’t try to help the US gov deport undocumented immigrants. And - surprise surprise - the Trump team is not a fan. So recently, the Justice Dept asked the Supremes to pretty please shoot down a California “sanctuary law.” To which the court said ‘no thanks.’ Meanwhile, Syria’s economy is not doing all that well. In other words: it’s collapsing. And elsewhere in the Middle East, the United Nations is warning that three quarters of its aid programs in Yemen (home to the largest humanitarian crisis in the world) will have to shut down if they don’t get more funding - and fast. 


WHAT TO KNOW

3,800:” how many ghost towns there are in the US. Can you boolieve it?


SAY WHAT?

“There could be 36 communicating intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, study says” - an actual headline. Out of this world. 

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