Iran Elections

No Bull With Raging Robert.

Voters in Iran head to the voting booth today, casting ballots in a national election to determine the country’s next president. Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, viewed as the preferred candidate of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is expected to win the race. Raisi would be a significant change from current President Hassan Rouhani, generally viewed as a moderate, who is ineligible to run due to constitutional term limits.

The election comes amid growing disillusionment among voters, with the country grappling with dual economic crises from renewed economic sanctions and the pandemic. Inflation of the rial, the country’s currency, has risen more than 40% since 2018, while analysts say unemployment may be as high as 20% (the official reported rate is 11%).

Ultimate power in the country lies with the religious hierarchy, most notably Khamenei — see how the Iranian government works here.

SCOTUS Decisions

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected a challenge to the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, sidestepping the primary issue in the case in a 7–2 vote that found the defendants did not have legal standing to challenge the law. It was the third time the law has survived challenges at the high court.

An initial 2012 decision found the law’s individual mandate was constitutional because an accompanying fine acted as a de facto tax. The fine was reduced to zero as part of the 2017 tax reform package, prompting opponents to challenge the entire law, who argued the effective tax no longer existed. Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented; read the opinion here (California v. Texas).

Separately, the court delivered a unanimous decision, ruling a Philadelphia-area Catholic adoption agency could not be excluded from city contracts over its refusal to work with LGBTQ couples due to religious beliefs.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon less than three weeks after withdrawing from French Open; will return for Tokyo Olympics (More) | Twenty-time Grand Slam champ Rafael Nadal to miss both Wimbledon and Olympics (More)

> US Olympic track and field trials begin today in Oregon; see full preview and how to watch (More) | … and US Olympic swimming trials are ongoing (More)

> Janet Malcolm, famed journalist and essayist, dies of cancer at 86 (More) | “WKRP in Cincinnati” star Frank Bonner dies at 79 (More)

Science & Technology

> Coelacanths live up to a century, more than five times longer than previously believed; once thought to be extinct, a new study also shows the fish have a gestation period up to five years (More) | See video of the fish in the wild (More)

> NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter unexpectedly kicks up dust while landing on the Martian surface, allowing study of the dynamics of the planet’s thin atmosphere (More)

> Mutations in a specific gene linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; CRISPR gene-editing technique shows removing TP73 gene leads to impaired development of nerve cells (More)

Business & Markets

> Tech stocks lead Nasdaq (+0.9%) higher, while S&P 500 (-0.04%) and Dow (-0.6%) decline (More)

> An estimated 412,000 Americans filed initial jobless claims last week, increasing over last week after six consecutive weeks of decline (More)

> Content delivery network provider Akamai caused online outages at banks and airlines yesterday morning (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> House repeals war powers authorization used for the 2002 Iraq War by 268–161 vote; declaration gave the White House latitude over military operations in the region without congressional approval (More) | Explaining the AUMF (More)

> Israel launches rocket strikes in Gaza Strip for second time this week after incendiary balloon devices were floated into Israel by activists; no injuries were reported, strikes targeted Hamas sites (More)

> More than 330,000 people hit with power outages in Puerto Rico; more than 1 million people have lost power at some point since June 1 (More)


Rethinking the Great White

Down East | Kathryn Miles. A fatal great white shark attack off the coast of Maine last year — the first in state history — has forced both residents and scientists to rethink what we know about the predator. (Read)

A Disease From Another Era

Australian Broadcasting Corp. | Staff. Polio had been nearly eradicated in the Asia-Pacific region for decades — until a vaccine-derived form of the virus sparked a new outbreak. (Read)

The Netflix of Wellness

Hollywood Reporter | Courtney Rubin. How popular exercise brand Peloton took a cue from Hollywood to turn itself into a billion-dollar content brand. (Read)

Airbnb’s Nightmare Solvers

Bloomberg | Olivia Carville. Inside the online rental marketplace giant’s global emergency response team, built to respond to the company’s worst-case scenarios. (Read, paywall)


In partnership with Grayscale

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robert massimi

Drama critic for Nimbus Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine and New York Lifestyles Magazine. Producer, editor and writer.