Court decisions and burglaries: your Saturday briefing in the United States

(Bloomberg) — Hello, Independence Day is a few days away, but until then:

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The Supreme Court waited until the last week of its mandate to remind the country how strong its 6-3 conservative majority is. In a trio of rulings on Thursday and Friday, judges effectively banned the use of race in college admissions, struck down President Joe Biden’s student loan relief plan and crafted a First Amendment exception to the laws. anti discrimination. Each of the three decisions was far-reaching in its own way, but as important as they were, the decisions were among only five that found the six conservatives in the majority and the three liberals in the dissent. The decisions were a blow to American colleges.

The court’s tilt to the right means that history could also repeat itself. Last year’s decision to strike down the constitutional right to abortion ahead of the midterm elections has galvanized Democrats, who are now hoping that this week’s twin rulings will once again help President Joe Biden get his anger under control. of voters as he heads into a tough battle for re-election.

With the second half of the year just beginning, it’s a good time to take stock of the first six months of 2023. The S&P 500 has posted 16% gains so far this year, fueled by a rise in AI and other technologies. stocks – Apple hit a historic valuation of $3 trillion this week – and a US economy that continues to defy gravity. The unlikely rally is making life difficult for people paid to predict where stocks will go next, many of whom were both bearish and misguided, and who remain at odds over what lies ahead.

Meanwhile, US airlines continued to deal with flight disruptions in the run-up to Independence Day, keeping the industry on edge even as recent volatility due to bad weather and air traffic control limits were showing signs of slowing down. The weekend of intense travel will test the changes airlines have made to improve reliability after prolonged disruptions last year linked to labor shortages forced them to cut schedules flight. With the number of trips forecast to increase, knowing how US airports rank in the event of flight disruptions could prove useful.

If you like a good heist, check out the latest issue of Businessweek, which highlights some of the most outrageous capers and weirdest things stolen. Here in California, it took 27 minutes for dozens of bags of jewelry – worth $8.7 million or around $100 million, depending on who you ask – to vanish from a semi -Brink’s trailer last year. A routine traffic stop in Tulsa helped police bring down a $500 million criminal catalytic converter ring. Meanwhile, an alleged $85 million Ponzi scheme fueled by the coveted sneaker market has finally exploded, in part because of the Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey.

But for those considering pulling off their own heist, police have a controversial new tool to bring criminals to justice: self-driving cars. As these vehicles become a fixture in major US cities like San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles, police are increasingly relying on their video recordings to try to solve cases. Have an exciting weekend. We’ll be back tomorrow with a preview of the week ahead.

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