An alternative fireworks display in Miami in 2022

Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

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Today is Independence Day in the United States. How are some cities creating animated scenes in the sky in a safer and quieter way than fireworks?

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During the busy July 4th holiday weekend, thousands of hotel workers in Los Angeles went on strike due to the increasing cost of living in the city. What are they demanding?

The hotel workers union has been in negotiations since April for a new contract, and approved a strike last month. Demands are an immediate $5 increase in hourly wages of housekeepers, followed by $3 increases in a few subsequent years. These agreements will set pay ahead of the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Olympics in LA.

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Israel launched its most intense air strikes on the West Bank in almost 20 years, attacking this city of about 17,000 people. Israeli officials were targeting a growing militia that has become disillusioned with the Palestinian Authority.

The operation targeted the Jenin Brigade, a newer militia group that has grown following the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and frustration with the Palestinian Authority’s response.

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Advocacy groups have filed a civil-rights complaint against Harvard University, alleging that this application process discriminates against applicants of color.

Following last week’s Supreme Court decision that race-conscious admissions policies are unconstitutional, three Boston groups requested the Education Department to review Harvard’s admissions policies. The groups claim that special treatment given to applicants with alumni parents or donor relatives discriminates against people of color in favor of less qualified white candidates.

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At the University of Chicago, a controversy involving student Daniel Schmidt and lecturer Rebecca Journey, who was preparing a course titled “The Problem of Whiteness,” has sparked debate over free speech and cyberbullying. What did Schmidt do?

Daniel Schmidt, a conservative activist, tweeted the course description with a screenshot of Journey’s public university profile, which had her photo and university email. This led to an influx of hate mail, and Journey accused Schmidt of doxxing and harassment. UChicago, known for its positions on free speech and academic freedom, dismissed Journey's complaints, further fueling the debate.