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5 things to know for July 1: SCOTUS, Abortion, Ukraine, Brittney Griner, Travel chaos

Today is the traditional getaway day for many people heading into the July 4 holiday weekend, and the 5 Things crew is hitting the road too. We’ll see you back here on Tuesday after enjoying some fun in the sun and fireworks shows! If you need a little diversion before your holiday festivities begin, take CNN’s Summer Quiz! Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ended its blockbuster term on Thursday with two major opinions on climate change and immigration. The court dealt a huge blow to the Biden administration by curbing the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to broadly regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. But in a win for the White House, the court gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy, which allows officials to send non-Mexican migrants to Mexico to await their US immigration court hearings. These rulings come as the conservative Supreme Court continues to transform the legal landscape around an assortment of hot-button issues, including abortion, gun rights, and religious liberty.

2. Abortion

President Biden on Thursday called for dropping filibuster rules to pass abortion rights into law. Ending the filibuster — the 60-vote threshold in the Senate needed to pass most legislation — would mean bills could pass by a simple majority instead of being held up by a minority. However, despite Biden’s newly announced support for the filibuster carveout, his best bet in doing so would be next year, and only if Democrats gain at least two Senate seats and hold the House of Representatives, an extremely tall task. Meanwhile, several Democratic-leaning states are implementing regulations that either further protect or expand abortion-related laws and policies. Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, for example, issued a directive Thursday that bars state police from cooperating with out-of-state agency requests for abortion-related information.

3. Ukraine

After a highly consequential summit this week, President Biden and NATO leaders pledged to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” although few were willing to offer an actual timeframe for an end to the conflict. Ukraine’s allies ramped up their response to the war this week with new sanctions and more military aid, but it remains unclear whether these steps can change the battlefield momentum that currently favors Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged NATO leaders to help him regain the initiative during a virtual address to the summit, pleading for more modern weapons and sustained support to battle the Russians. On the ground, Russian forces left Snake Island in the Black Sea, after Zelensky on Thursday said Ukraine carried out a “remarkable operation.” Russia, however, claimed it had withdrawn “as a gesture of goodwill.”

4. Brittney Griner

The trial in Russia of American basketball star Brittney Griner is expected to begin today after officials there claimed she had cannabis oil in her luggage in February, a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. Griner, a Phoenix Mercury player who plays in Russia during the WNBA’s offseason, was arrested at a Moscow airport and has been detained for more than four months. Russian authorities accused her of smuggling significant amounts of a narcotic substance, an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Her detention, which has been extended for six months pending the trial’s outcome, has sparked a wave of support in the US. Griner’s wife, Cherelle, is urging President Biden to strike an exchange deal with Russian authorities to release Griner and bring her home safely as soon as possible.

5. Travel chaos

As the US heads into the busy July 4 holiday weekend, travel experts warn delays and cancellations are likely to impact flights over the next few days. More than 1,500 flights were canceled in the US this past weekend alone, and Delta Air Lines has already trimmed about 100 flights a day from its July schedule to “minimize disruptions.” Delta also issued a waiver for July 4 travelers as it braces for passenger volumes “not seen since before the pandemic.” And as airports fill up with the most travelers in years, weather will also be a big factor this weekend, impacting both airlines and fireworks displays. Most of the US will see the chance of rain through Monday, with the South and Northeast expecting thunderstorms in several areas.  

BREAKFAST BROWSE

See what’s streaming in July

“Stranger Things” Season 4 Volume 2 hit Netflix at midnight! Here’s what else you should stream this month.

UCLA and USC to join Big Ten conference

The two Southern California powerhouse universities — UCLA and USC — are completely shaking up the college sports landscape. (Fight on!) 

Enormous chocolate factory shuts over salmonella outbreak

The biggest chocolate factory in the world is facing a not-so-sweet situation

‘Extraordinarily rare’ Princess Diana portrait goes on display in London

Interesting fact: Princess Diana went to an art studio for more than 30 sittings to complete this masterpiece.

How two women with the exact same name became best friends

These women quickly realized they had more in common than their relatively unusual name

QUIZ TIME

Which company is being accused of turning off the AC in its stores to save money as its sales plummet?

A. IKEA

B. Bed Bath & Beyond

C. Best Buy

D. Petco

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz here to see if you’re correct!

TODAY’S NUMBER

141

That’s how many reports of rape Uber recorded on its platform in 2020, the rideshare company disclosed in a safety report released Thursday. About 91% of the victims of rape were riders and about 7% of the victims were drivers. Women made up 81% of the victims while men comprised about 15%, according to the 78-page report.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The Navy accepts responsibility for what happened.”

— Navy Adm. Samuel Paparo, the commander of US Pacific Fleet, acknowledging a series of failures led to a fuel leak at a Hawaii military facility that sickened nearby families. In March, the Defense Department announced it would permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility after approximately 20,000 gallons of fuel spilled and hundreds of people complained about illnesses linked to the contaminated water.

TODAY’S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Bigfoot and Bamboo: The Unlikely History of Fireworks

Did you know fireworks were first created to help people ward off Bigfoot? Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about the surprising history of fireworks! (Click here to view)

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