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Here's today's rundown:
The latest on where things stand when it comes to abortion. From the leak investigation to the White House to corporations.
Stocks had their worst day in two years on Thursday. What is happening on Wall Street and what rising interest rates mean for you. Be on the look out for the April Jobs Report out at 830amET.
New data on the impact school closures had on learning. Bottom line: it's not good!
Amber Heard takes the stand to tell her side of the story
A historic pick for White House Press Secretary.
And as always, we end this week with what we're watching, reading and eating this weekend! Here's one hint ;)
Have a great weekend. And cheers to the women who gave us life-- an early Happy Mother's Day to all!
~ Mosh & Jill
It's been less than a week since Politico published a leaked initial draft majority opinion showing the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. We are still eight weeks or so away from a final decision that could or could not look similar to the leaked draft as the justices continue to conference on major cases. In the mean time, here is the latest:
The Leak Investigation: The marshal of the Supreme Court, Gail Curley, has been tasked with finding the leaker. She is a retired Army colonel who oversees the Supreme Court Police Department, a federal law-enforcement agency that isn’t known to have ever conducted a leak investigation. The primary functions of the fewer than 200 officers are typically crowd control and personal protection for the justices.
The probe is likely to first focus on a small group of people who have access to draft opinions: the nine justices, their 36 law clerks, and a small number of judicial and executive assistants in each office. Chief Justice John Roberts’s decision to rely on the marshal, rather than enlisting agencies like the FBI, suggests the court wants to keep the controversy in-house. ~WSJ
Congress Taking Symbolic Vote: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that next week the Senate will vote on the Women's Health Protection Act to codify the right to abortion into federal law.
However, the vote is symbolic because Democrats don't have enough votes to pass it. They need 60 to overcome a filibuster and will likely get less than 50. Democratic leaders rejected bipartisan offer from two pro-choice Senate Republicans, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, to codify an alternative abortion rights bill that would allow for some moral objections and just focus on early pregnancy. (The Dem bill legalizes it for all nine months, including partial birth abortion). ~Politico
However, even the bipartisan bill would put them several votes shy of the 60 votes. So Democrats have opted instead to move forward with their symbolic bill, which enables them to, among other things, argue that all Republicans voted against it. ~ CBS News
White House Can't Do Much: After "marathon meetings and phone calls among White House officials, government lawyers, outside advisers and federal agency officials, a sobering reality settled in: There’s little the White House can do that will fundamentally alter a post-Roe landscape." ~ Washington Post
One idea: Officials are discussing whether women could use Medicaid funding to travel to other states for an abortion.
States Prepare For A Decision: They are trying to figure out what is next now that the court appears to be ready to pass responsibility for abortion policy to the 50 states.
Republicans across the country are digging in and trying to restrict access to abortion. in Louisiana, lawmakers advanced a bill that would classify abortion as homicide and let prosecutors criminally charge patients. In South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, says if Roe is overturned she'll call for a special legislative session to limit abortion to the greatest extent possible. Same for lawmakers in Nebraska and Indiana. ~ Reuters
Democratic states like California and Vermont are trying to expand abortion access. Supporters of abortion rights want voters in California and Vermont to enshrine abortion rights in their constitutions.
Corporate America: Major companies are mostly staying quiet on abortion. Companies are under increasing pressure to speak out on social issues like LGBTQ rights and gun control, but experts say abortion is “the hottest of the hot potatoes" because "people are fanatically passionate one way or another.” ~ The Hill
Last year, in response to a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, more than 60 companies-- including Lyft, Yelp, and Levi Strauss-- signed a letter condemning the legislation.
A handful of companies have spoken out this week, but major names like Netflix, PayPal, Microsoft, Patagonia, Target, Walmart, Apple and Meta have officially stayed quiet.
All eyes will be on the April Jobs report out later this morning at 830amET. It will cap off a wild week for the stock market. On Thursday the Dow had its worst day since 2020, dropping more than 1,000 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell nearly 5% with names like Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce, Etsy and eBay seeing huge declines. ~ CNBC
Cryptocurrencies have fallen along with the rest of the market as investors unwind risky bets. Bitcoin fell below $37,000; Ethereum below $2,754.
Thursday’s losses erased Wednesday’s rally, which followed the Federal Reserve's policy meeting in which Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced a .5% rate hike to tame inflation-- and implied they will keep raising rates---but ruled out even larger rate hikes going forward. Note the chart below for context on where interest rates still stand vs. the last 60 years.
So what gives? "Behind the churn is a Fed committed to what will likely be the most aggressive withdrawal of stimulus for the economy since 1994. Once an anchor of stability for the market, the central bank is now its chief antagonist, sworn to subdue the hottest inflation in four decades." ~ Bloomberg
What do the rate hikes mean for you? Short-term borrowing rates, particularly on credit cards, are set to jump higher. Mortgage rates have already gone up, hitting 5.55% this week, the highest since 2009. CNBC has a good breakdown on what interest rates mean for Americans on everything from student loans to your savings accounts.
We're getting some new data on the impact of long-term school closures on kids and education. Bottom line: Remote school was not good for learning, and school closures widened both economic and racial inequality in education, according to a new Harvard study. ~ NY Times
During the 1990s and early 2000s there was major progress in K-12 education. Math and reading skills improved, especially for Black and Latino students. But most of the progress was erased during the Covid closures.
Part of the problem: Schools in high-poverty areas were remote for longer than those in low-poverty areas, and many low-income kids didn't do as well in remote settings because of unreliable internet access or lack of access to a quiet place to work.
Jean-Pierre, 44, currently the White House's principal deputy press secretary, will become the first Black woman and also first openly LGBTQ person to hold the position. Psaki, the most prominent face of President Joe Biden's administration since day one, is set to become a host for MSNBC. (USA Today)
The United States provided Ukraine with intelligence that helped Kyiv attack and sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the Moskva, in one of the most dramatic battlefield successes of the 71-day old war, according to people familiar with the matter. (Washington Post)
First lady Jill Biden departed Thursday evening on a trip to Romania and Slovakia, where she will spend time with several Ukrainian families displaced by the Russian invasion. The first lady's intense, four-day schedule of events, meetings and visits includes Mother's Day activities in Kosice, Slovakia, where Biden will visit a refugee center and two schools. (CNN)
J.D. Vance, the Republican nominee, enters the general election as the favorite. For Representative Tim Ryan, the Democrat, Ohio’s sprawling metro areas offer a possible path to victory. (NY Times)
Elon Musk is expected to become Twitter's temporary CEO after closing his $44 billion takeover of the social-media firm. Musk, the world's richest man, is also the CEO at Tesla and heads two other ventures, The Boring Company and SpaceX. Tesla shares dropped over 8% on Thursday, as investors fretted that Musk's involvement with Twitter could distract him from running the world's most valuable electric-car maker. (Reuters)
During her second day of testimony in Depp's lawsuit against her, Heard, 36, recalled the alleged incident that occurred in their rental home in Australia shortly after they married: "I haven't been so scared in my life." Following her testimony, Depp's representatives issued a statement alleging Heard's testimony was filled with "many fallacies" and accused her of acting. (People)
What We're Eating...errr....Drinking: A Dirty Shirley Temple aka the Drink of the Summer: "Vodka-spiked Shirley Temples — nostalgic, colorful and unapologetically sweet — have found a way to upstage the vodka soda."
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[Top Banner Photo Credit: Bryan Dozier/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]