“The real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.”
– G. K. Chesterton
The Supreme Court Rules On Abortion
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled against a Louisiana abortion law that would require any doctor offering abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.
A deeper dive… Admitting privilege is the right granted to a doctor to admit patients to a particular hospital – a process largely left up to each individual health center.
In a 5-4 ruling, the court found the proposed law unconstitutional, with the majority opinion (written by Justice Breyer) asserting that it has no significant health benefits and places an undue burden on patients.
Chief Justice John Roberts crossed party lines and joined with the court’s four liberal justices in the decision. In his concurring opinion, Roberts cited the court’s 2016 decision to overturn Texas’ House Bill 2, which required all abortion clinics to have hospital-like standards.
In his dissenting opinion, Justice Alito – joined by three other conservative justices – disagreed with the assertion that the rule has no significant health benefits for patients.
What’s Next? State legislatures have enacted hundreds of abortion restrictions over the past decade (here’s a map), with several currently facing legal challenges. It’s difficult to predict which specific law will become the focus of the next Supreme Court abortion case, as the decision is at the discretion of the Justices.
So… what are people saying?
Does Roberts’ surprise Supreme Court vote today mean abortion rights are safe for the long haul?
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Protest & Coronavirus Updates
Global cases rose above 10.39 million yesterday (up ~160k from yesterday), with nearly 507,400 deaths (up ~3.4k). The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to nearly 2.68 million (up ~45k), with 128,761 confirmed deaths (up ~349).
A district judgeset a March 8 trial for Derek Chauvin, one of the four officers charged with the murder of George Floyd.
Chinaapproved the use of CanSino’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate on its military troops for a one-year period.
Gilead on Monday revealed its COVID-19 drug, remdesivir, will cost U.S. hospitals $3,120 for a typical patient.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to cut the NYPD budget by $1 billion.
Iran Issues Warrant For Trump’s Arrest
Iran issued an arrest warrant yesterday for President Trump and 35 others in connection with the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian official. Interpol later declined Iran’s request for assistance in detaining the individuals, meaning they face no real threat of arrest.
More: On Jan. 3, a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq killed Gen. Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
An AP News report published on Monday accuses the Chinese Government of forcing birth control, sterilization, and abortions on Uighur women to cut the population’s birth rates. Data shows that birth control and forced sterilization have gone down in every region of the country save Xinjiang, where it has spiked. Xinjiang is home to ~11 million Uighur Muslims, who make up a little under half the region’s population.
The Geneva Auto Show – the first major show to cancel due to COVID-19 back in Feb. – has been called off for 2021 amid a lack of interest stemming from the pandemic.
AMC Entertainmentpostponed plans to reopen most U.S. locations to July 30, extending its shutdown by about two weeks.
Amazonpledged to spend more than $500 million on bonuses for all front-line workers (contractors included) after ending a short-term pay bump for employees last month.
Social Media Summary
The Indian government banned 59 Chinese-owned apps – including TikTok and WeChat – on Monday, citing national security and privacy concerns. The move comes two weeks after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent border clash with Chinese troops.
More social media news: Redditbanned ~2,000 ‘subreddits’ (most of them inactive), Twitchsuspended President Trump’s channel, YouTubebanned the accounts of several white supremacists, & Ford, Adidas, and Denny’s joined the list of companies to boycott advertising on Facebook.
Lululemon announced a deal to acquire at-home fitness company Mirror for $500 million on Monday. Launched in 2018, Mirror sells a $1,500 tech-laden mirror with a camera and speakers in order for users to participate in online fitness classes. Lululemon said its new acquisition is on track to generate $100 million in 2020 sales.
One Of A Kind
Rena Rosen, a preschool teacher and photographer in Chicago, was born with craniofrontonasal syndrome, which affects the structure of her face and skull. Growing up, Rena struggled to be accepted by other children her age – she was often bullied and mocked for her appearance.
Determined to educate young people about the constructive impacts of kindness, the now 30-year-old Rena started the “Art of Compassion” movement to advocate for inclusivity among kids. Through school visits, media campaigns, and her children’s book, The Courage to Be Kind, the educator encourages audiences to see others beyond the surface.
Before the pandemic, actress/comedian Kristina Wong was looking forward to her first nationwide stand-up tour. Upon learning that her shows were canceled, Kristina turned to sewing as a way to stay active and avoid getting bogged down by thoughts of her financial loss.
After stitching her first face mask in late March, Kristina started the “Auntie Sewing Squad,” a Facebook group dedicated to providing masks to populations disproportionately affected by the spread of COVID-19. With a membership of 800 craftspeople, the group has distributed more than 55,000 masks to communities in need.
In The Arms Of An Angel
Temperatures in Delaware Water Gap National Park had reached more than 90ºF last Tuesday when park ranger Kris Salapek received an emergency call. On the other end of the line was a panicked hiker whose dog suffered from dehydration and heat exhaustion several miles out on a trail.
When Kris arrived at the scene, he made a split-second decision to hoist the large canine onto his shoulders and carry it back to the beginning of the trail. The resolute ranger transported the poor pup for over an hour back to the owner’s car, only stopping briefly to set the dog down in a cold stream. The weary animal’s owner rushed him to the vet, where he made a full recovery.
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⚜️ When The Saints Go Logging In… the Vatican has attributed a miracle to “computer genius” Carlo Acutis – who died in 2006 at the age of 15 – moving him one step closer to becoming the ‘patron saint of the internet.’
🌑💥🌑 Let There Be Light… astronomers recently observed a flash of light coming from two colliding black holes. Now they’re trying to figure out why.