Abortion, Iran, Zion Williamson: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing


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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. It bans almost all abortions, with no exception in cases of rape or incest.

The law will go into effect in six months at the earliest. Lower courts will almost certainly block it.

There is no guarantee that the Supreme Court would hear an appeal, even though the law was constructed to be a direct challenge to the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

2. The U.S. partly evacuated its embassy in Baghdad, citing threats from Iran.

But some U.S. allies and Iraqi officials have expressed skepticism. So has the British deputy commander of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State: “There has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria.”

The U.S. has been accelerating its movement of bombers and ships into the Persian Gulf, including the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, pictured above last week. Iraqi officials are growing worried.

In our Opinion section, Wendy Sherman, a former under secretary of state for political affairs, says that Congress, America’s allies and others can intervene to avert a disastrous conflict.


3. The U.S., Mexico and Canada are nearing a deal on metal tariffs, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

But trade friction with China continues to rise. President Trump plans to sign an executive order on Wednesday that would effectively block sales by Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, to U.S. firms.

With the U.S. and China openly contemplating how to inflict pain on each other, our economics correspondent writes, the rest of the world is fretting about becoming collateral damage. Above, Chinese shipping containers in Long Beach, Calif.

4. The Trump administration also plans to unveil an immigration system overhaul this week that would vastly scale back family-based immigration and increase education and skill requirements.

The proposal would include new opportunities for immigrants who have specific skills or job offers to work in the U.S., provided that they can prove English proficiency, educational attainment and pass a civics exam. It also calls for new security measures at the border.

Also out of Washington: The acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Daniel Elwell, above, defended the agency’s certification procedures for the grounded Boeing 737 Max. In the first of several hearings, he told a House committee that the process by which company-paid employees inspected their own aircraft was “a good system.”


5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art said it would stop accepting money from members of the Sackler family who have ties to Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin.

The American Museum of Natural History said that it, too, would turn down their money.

The Sackler family has given tens of millions of dollars and put its name in or on museums — like the gallery at the Met above — universities and medical schools in the U.S., England and Israel. But many institutions, including the Tate Modern in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, have previously severed ties.


6. From Museum Mile to New York’s fur industry.

The City Council is considering joining Los Angeles and San Francisco in banning the sale of fur garments and accessories.

The proposal pits animal rights advocates against those who say the measure would be culturally insensitive and destroy a centuries-old industry. Above, shopping for a new coat at Kaufman Furs in Manhattan.

In other New York news, the Cuomo administration must decide before Thursday whether to approve a new natural gas Keystone-like pipeline that environmentalists say would harm the area’s waters.


7. It’s the beginning of the Zion Williamson era.

The New Orleans Pelicans won the N.B.A. lottery and the right to take Mr. Williamson — a freshman at Duke and the most hyped prospect since LeBron James — in the June draft. Here’s a full recap.

The third-place finish for the New York Knicks served as a “deflating reminder” of how long it’s been since they were the center of the N.B.A. universe, our basketball columnist writes.

And at the court, we were with Stephen and Seth Curry’s parents as they watched their sons play against each other in the Western Conference Finals — the first to feature brothers.

8. CBD is everywhere. Can it really solve all that ails you?

In the Times Magazine’s health issue this week, we take a look at how one molecule from the cannabis plant came to be seen as a cure-all. There’s still much to learn, but many scientists are excited about its health benefits, including treatments for an array of ailments like arthritis, sleeplessness, epilepsy and opioid addiction.

“People have been using cannabis forever,” said an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “The question now is, How do we as scientists catch up?”


9. Attention passengers, your hotel is now boarding.

The TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York has opened, giving new life to the iconic terminal designed by Eero Saarinen that originally opened in 1962. A 1958 Lockheed Constellation parked outside offers a bar.

It’s part of a new generation of on-site hotels that airports see as lures for travelers’ dollars.

Separately, our 52 Places Traveler’s latest stop was in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where he met the people who are turning the city into a true capital of culture.


10. And finally, polishing a different kind of silver.

For some seniors, style never goes away. In fact, keeping up appearances is simply part of good health.

This style-conscious cohort is expected to grow as baby boomers age, and some affluent seniors are seeking luxury supportive housing where perks include fitness centers, salons, acupuncture treatment and reiki therapy.

“I don’t want to look absurd, but I do want to try different identities,” said Shirley Freita, above, adding, “I feel liberated. I have no one to please but myself.”

Have a glamorous night.


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