Good morning and welcome to Friday. We hope you have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable weekend. 👏
“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”
– Oprah Winfrey
SCOTUS Rules On Trump Tax Records
The Supreme Court released two 7-2 decisions regarding Trump’s tax records on Thursday.
A deeper dive… In the first decision, the court ruled that, although he is president, Trump is not immune to a subpoena for financial documents from NY state prosecutors.
Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. has requested eight years of tax records as part of a 2019 investigation into alleged hush-money payments to women who claim to have had affairs with Trump before the 2016 election.
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts (joined by the liberal wing and Trump’s two appointees) ruled that a sitting president is not immune to – nor granted a higher standard for – criminal subpoenas.
Round Two In the second decision, SCOTUS prevented Congress from accessing Trump’s financial records, sending the case back to a lower court for consideration.
In April 2019, three House committees issued subpoenas for Trump and his family’s financial records, which President Trump’s lawyers argued lacked legislative purpose and violated the separation of powers doctrine.
Separation of powers refers to the division of governmental responsibilities into three co-equal branches – executive, legislative, and judicial.
In this case, the petitioners claim the House subpoenas in question, if allowed to stand, would grant the legislative branch an unbalanced amount of influence compared to the other two branches.
The majority opinion – also written by Chief Justice Roberts – outlined that the lower courts had not yet accounted for the separation of powers concerns evoked by such Congressional subpoenas.
What’s Next? Both decisions will send the cases back to lower courts, allowing Trump’s lawyers to raise any additional objections to the subpoenas, and likely delaying any potential reveal of his finances until after November’s election.
While NY prosecutors can access Trump’s tax records, Congress is not privy to the information for now. House Democrats said they plan to work in lower courts to eventually obtain the records.
So… what are people saying?
A big Supreme Court loss for Trump is a bigger victory for American democracy
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Across the U.S., ICU bed capacity was recorded at ~64% on Wednesday. For context, average U.S. ICU bed capacity was estimated at 68% from 2005 to 2007 (the most recent data we could find).
On Wednesday, Texas reported9,610 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state (with 1,017 ICU beds available), compared to 2,008 hospitalizations on June 11 (with 1,419 ICU beds available). Check out your state.
Major virus news from yesterday: The WHO acknowledged that airborne COVID-19 transmission is a possibility, especially in closed indoor spaces.
U.S. Sanctions Chinese Officials Over Uighur Abuses
The U.S. announced sanctions against three senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party on Thursday. Among the three is Chen Quanguo, the party leader of the Xinjiang province (home to ~11 million Uighur Muslims), who is the highest-ranking Chinese official to be hit by U.S. sanctions so far. Among other things, the restrictions forbid the individuals and their families from entering the country due to associated human rights abuses.
The mayor of Seoul, South Korea – Park Won-soon – was found dead early Friday morning following an hours-long search involving 700 police officers. Won-soon’s daughter first reported him missing Thursday afternoon, saying he had left her a message “like a will” and turned off his phone.
More: South Korean broadcaster SBS reported that one of Won-soon’s secretaries filed a criminal complaint alleging sexual harassment against him on Wednesday evening.
TikTok published its latest transparency report on Thursday, self-reporting 49 million videos removed for content violations from July 2019 to Dec. 2019. The company also disclosed more than 500 government requests during that time, stating none of them originated from Hong Kong or China.
In the UK and Australia, privacy regulators launched a joint probe into U.S. facial recognition firm Clearview AI regarding their “data scraping” practices on Thursday. Clearview AI has reportedly scraped more than 3 billion images from social media sites (including Twitter and Facebook) to build its database of individuals, which law enforcement agencies use to identify and apprehend criminals.
More: Clearview AI has stopped offering its services in Canada after government data protection agencies opened two separate probes into the company in February (which will remain ongoing).
Even More: Last month, Clearview AI reportedly agreed to delete some of its facial images through an opt-out system, except for Canadian residents.
Love Conquers All
Chris Buckley of Walker County, GA, first developed racist ideologies as a result of his troubled childhood in Cleveland, OH, and was later appointed national security leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
After befriending Arno Michaels, a former Klan member, and reformed racist, Chris left the KKK in 2016. Recognizing how his tumultuous upbringing impacted his own hostile beliefs, Chris now works with the nonprofit Parents for Peace to help young people process trauma and reject hateful views.
Chairing Is Caring
Cambry Nelson is paralyzed from the waist down and has spent most of her adult life in a standard wheelchair. However, this does not deter her from pursuing adventure. Cambry is known to take on tough trails and exhausting wilderness excursions, often tugging on her chair’s tires until her arms are extremely sore.
Wanting to help Cambry experience the Earth with ease, her husband, Zack, created an all-terrain wheelchair out of the pieces of two electric bikes. The couple has now turned the contraption – which can travel up to 35 miles on a single charge – into a small business, offering the accessible apparatus for a fraction of the cost of a traditional automated wheelchair.
The Bear Necessities
When someone encounters a bear in the wild, the safest plan of action (if it hasn’t noticed you) is to back away slowly without making too much noise. However, Tricia, Brian, and Brady Hurt decided to part with that traditional wisdom when the family encountered a bear cub swimming in Wisconsin’s Marsh-Miller Lake with a discarded plastic container stuck around its head.
Matching the boat’s pace to the gait of the submerged cub, the Hurt family cooed to the distressed animal and eventually removed the container from its entrapped head. Tricia managed to capture the harrowing encounter in a video posted to Facebook by Tricia, documenting the triumphant – and adorable – rescue.
The net worth of the average U.S. Black family trails behind every other ethnic group, sometimes by as much as 7 times less.
Let’s Tackle The Issue Black Women Invest was created to provide resources and support to help Blacks in America be intentional about expanding their knowledge of personal finance and investments. We’re an online community created by Black women, for Black women, who share an interest in investing, financial strategy, and building new relationships.
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The so-called Pizza Principle is an ‘economic law’ first proposed in 1980, when one NYT columnist noted the unlikely connection dating back to the 1960s. A Columbia University study in 2014 concluded that the Pizza Principle still held true.