A Quick Guide To The Day's Biggest News Stories

The myth of college security, a loss for anti-abortion officials in Florida, and “The Rehearsal’s” inadvertent autistic representation

This is an excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter dedicated to making sense of this chaotic world we live in. Join the club here.

Biden will forgive $10,000 of your student loans — if you make under $125,000

biden stands onstage in black sunglasses and a blue graduation robe waving to a crowd. other people in robes are on his left and right

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday:

  • The government will forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for Americans making less than $125,000 per year.

  • Recipients of a Pell Grant, the program for needs-based grants to low-income undergraduate students, will have up to $20,000 of debt per person canceled.

  • The pause on repayments for all graduates will be extended for a seventh and final time until January.

  • The Department of Education is proposing repayment caps on undergraduate loans for borrowers at 5% of their monthly income, and to end repayment obligations after 20 years or 10 years for those whose original balance was less than $12,000.

  • The administration also plans to reform the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and make it easier for those that serve 10 years in the military or government to get credit for eventual loan forgiveness.

The announcement comes after more than a year of Biden deferring a decision on an issue on which he’d campaigned amid internal arguments among Democrats about the plan. Since assuming the presidency, Biden had already taken other steps to cancel more than $17 billion in student loans, including for borrowers misled by for-profit schools and for those with disabilities. His administration has also discharged approximately $1.6 billion of debt to certain HBCUs.

Over the last four decades, the cost of attending a US college has skyrocketed by 169%, while earnings for people in their 20s have only risen by about 19%. About 1 in 5 Americans have debt from federal student loan programs, owing more than $1.6 trillion collectively, according to the Education Data Initiative.

It took me 10 years to pay back my student loans. No one else should have to go through that.

A person in a green jacket and curly hair stands in a crowd with their back to the camera. on their back is a canvas sign that says "can't pay, won't pay."

I don’t need to recount for you the hundreds of stories from recent years of borrowers who are drowning under the weight of their debts, writes Elamin Abdelmahmoud. What these stories gesture to is a larger failure: At some point in this millennium, a college education stopped being a guarantee of a better life. If you carry student debt now, there’s a good chance you were sold the college dream only to find yourself in purgatory.

A deadly missile strike on a national holiday

  • On Ukraine's Independence day, a missile strike killed at least 22 people and wounded 50 more. A train station in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast was shelled on Wednesday, CNN reports, fulfilling expectations that the national holiday would become subject to renewed attacks.

  • In an emotional speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, "Our independence does not end and will never end. ... Let's not retreat from our path, let's fight, express gratitude to everyone who supports us, take care of our state, preserve our unity."

SNAPSHOTS

A Florida judge who denied a teen girl an abortion because of her grades was voted out of office. Voters also ousted Florida Rep. James Bush, the sole Democrat in the state legislature who voted on a 15-week abortion ban and the anti-LGBTQ "Don't Say Gay" bill.

The Uvalde school district police chief has been fired. Exactly three months after one of the worst school shootings in US history, Pete Arredondo was fired on Wednesday after multiple investigations into the failures of law enforcement during the Robb Elementary shooting.

A jury awarded Vanessa Bryant $16 million for the photos Los Angeles officials took of Kobe's remains. Bryant testified that she lives in constant fear that the images will leak, which keeps her up at night and sometimes causes her to have panic attacks. Officials also ordered the pictures to be deleted.

The leaders of Yoga to the People have been arrested for allegedly not paying any taxes. "The defendants operated a lucrative nationwide yoga business ... permitting them to live lavish lifestyles," one US attorney general said in a statement. "Yet the defendants chose not to file tax returns, or pay income taxes, for at least seven consecutive years."

Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has been working as a lifeguard over the summer ahead of starting college. “It’s kind of a ‘just for fun thing,’” the 17-year-old told Flaunt magazine. “I’ve kind of grown up with a normal life and normal friends and stuff outside of Stranger Things, so it’s kind of kept me grounded.”

It makes sense that The Rehearsal resonates with autistic viewers

nathan fielder wears a brown sweater and sits at a wood-furnished bar looking pensive

The Rehearsal’s subjects have unique dilemmas, but Nathan Fielder's latest TV show is actually charting the universal experience of trying to connect with others, understanding what it means to be a person, and feeling out of place in your own skin, writes Emerson Malone.

For some neurodivergent viewers, including those with autism, The Rehearsal was also a profound example of onscreen representation. On numerous Reddit threads, including some on autism-specific subreddits, redditors said they responded to Nathan’s articulation of feeling lost socially, his difficulty communicating and expressing feelings of vulnerability with others, and his highly methodical attitude toward traversing life’s fraught moments.

Overthinking social interactions and code-switching are obviously not traits exclusive to autistic communities. But the portrayal of Fielder suppressing his instincts in order to have a more frictionless, amiable interaction is something intimately understood by autistic viewers, who recognize this as masking or camouflaging.

More than anything, at the heart of The Rehearsal is a desire to understand that which often feels frustratingly opaque: How do you ever really know someone? Can you ever feel prepared for a situation for which you’re woefully unequipped? For some viewers, the show doesn’t feel like a peek into another universe, but a deeper look into one’s own.

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