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Students walk through Harvard Yard, April 27, 2022, on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Students walk through Harvard Yard, April 27, 2022, on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Charles Krupa

The Rundown: Affirmative action struck down

Hey there, here’s a video of baby turtles hatching to make your Thursday a little brighter. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed affirmative action, ending race-conscious college admissions

The decision could put an end to colleges and universities considering race as one of many factors when deciding which qualified applicants will be admitted, NPR reports.

Affirmative action programs at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University were at the center of the debate.

Today’s decision will likely affect not just higher education, but also selective primary and secondary schools, minority scholarship and fellowship programs and race-conscious programs at businesses and other institutions.

The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines in the UNC case, and 6-2 in the Harvard case, with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recusing. [NPR]

A Northwestern professor expects schools to pursue race-neutral alternatives. [WBEZ]

2. The Chicago Police superintendent search narrows to six candidates

They include five department veterans and an outsider who previously worked for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, my colleagues Fran Spielman and Tom Schuba write for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The finalists are: Counterterrorism Chief Larry Snelling; his now-retired predecessor, Ernest Cato III; Street Deputy Migdalia Bulnes; Constitutional Policing and Reform Chief Angel Novalez; Labor Relations Cmdr. Donna Rowling; and Madison, Wis., Police Chief Shon Barnes, who once worked as COPA’s director of training and development, the Sun-Times reports.

The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, a new civilian oversight body charged with leading the search, has until July 14 to pick three finalists and send those names to Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Johnson then has 30 days to make his pick or direct the commission to conduct a second nationwide search. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. What’s in Chicago’s dirty air?

A toxic brew of microscopic contaminants known as “particulate matter 2.5” caused by wildfires in Canada have infiltrated the Chicago air, Brett Chase reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The mixture is different from the ozone pollution Chicagoans are used to breathing and particulate matter 2.5 lodges deep in people’s lungs, potentially causing problems breathing. Health problems ranging from minor lung irritation to heart attacks can result. [Chicago Sun-Times]

An air pollution action day remains in effect until midnight as smoke and haze from the wildfires linger this afternoon, when thunderstorms could move into the area. [Trib]

4. The Chicago Board of Education approved renewing a contract with Chicago Police

The decision comes as some board members pushed for fresh ideas on how the school district could rely less on campus police, Chalkbeat Chicago reports.

CPS’s Whole School Safety Initiative encourages schools to replace officers with social workers, culture and climate coordinators, and other staff, according to Chalkbeat. Since 2019, the district’s police contract has fallen by one-third and the number of officers in schools is about half.

But the initiative has lost momentum, Chalkbeat reports, with just two local schools councils voting this past spring to remove police officers.

And Mayor Brandon Johnson recently said local school councils should decide on campus police — a change from his criticism of police in schools while Johnson was campaigning. [Chalkbeat Chicago]

5. Scientists can now ‘hear’ the gravitational waves caused by black holes moving

The ripples are caused by supermassive black holes gently stretching and squeezing everything in the universe, The Associated Press reports.

As galaxies collide and merge, the black holes at the center of these galaxies “also come together and get locked into a dance before they finally collapse into each other,” Szabolcs Marka, an astrophysicist at Columbia University who was not involved with the research, told AP.

Gravitational waves get released as the black holes circle around each other.

To hear them, scientists pointed telescopes at dead stars that send out radio waves, similar to lighthouses, according to AP. The researchers analyzed tiny changes in the rate at which these radio waves reached Earth to see when gravitational waves passed through. [AP]

Here’s what else is happening

  • United Airlines struggles with flight delays and cancellations ahead of the holiday weekend. [CNN]

  • CPS says damaged lead paint will be removed from 80 schools this summer. [WBEZ]

  • Madonna postponed her Celebration tour after being hospitalized with a bacterial infection. [AP]

  • Here’s a guide to Independence Day fireworks and other ways to celebrate in the Chicago area. [Block Club Chicago]

Oh, and one more thing …

For those worried about being able to tell the difference between what’s real on the internet and what isn’t, some companies have started offering tools to help.

The tools use advanced algorithms to pick up on subtle signs a photo, work of art or other creation was made by a computer, The New York Times reports.

But how well do these services work?

The New York Times tested five of them out on more than 100 images and found that while the companies’ tools are rapidly advancing, they sometimes aren’t successful. [New York Times]

Tell me something good ...

The new season of The Bear on Hulu got me wondering about other shows or movies set in the Chicago area that I should check out over the upcoming long weekend.

Ken says:

“I mean, seriously? Is no one else even going to give this a mention? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has got to be the most iconic movie ever done about Chicago. In fact, the city itself is so integral to the movie’s tale, it’s almost as if it’s another character.

And on a side note, one of my college friends, I went to college in New England, was from NYC and had never been to Chicago before. So when he came, he said he wanted to relive Ferris’s day off. We did. It was fantastic!”

Mark says:

“Gosh, so many great choices thinking of Chicago… ‘Ferris Bueller’, ‘Blues Brothers’, ‘The Fugitive’, ‘Shameless’. However I’ll defer to a complete original and one of the greatest shows of all time and that would be ‘The Bob Newhart Show’ [starring] Oak Park native Bob Newhart. As a teen growing up in suburban Massachusetts, the shows opening shots, especially the river and Marina Towers, made me want to live there. Lo and behold some 20 years later I landed at O’Hare and have been here ever since.”

Tell me why you love these movies or shows and your response may be included in this week’s newsletter.

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