Europe, 2020 Election, Dodgers: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Stocks fell in Europe and the U.S. as investors fret over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic’s new wave.

Oil prices dropped more than 5 percent, and shares of energy producers fared poorly. Even Big Tech suffered: Apple and Microsoft dropped more than 4 percent, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, slid more than 5 percent.

With the U.S. hitting a record of more than 500,000 new coronavirus cases over the past week, Covid-19 hospital admissions have climbed an estimated 46 percent from a month ago, and many hospitals are reeling. In El Paso, above, Covid-19 hospitalizations have more than tripled over the past three weeks.

Germany is closing restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses, and France is going into a second national lockdown starting on Friday — all with an eye to keeping schools open.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” President Emmanuel Macron of France said.

2. Drive-through polling places. Zoom rallies. The coronavirus has upended the 2020 election season at nearly every turn.

4. “It’s coming fast, it’s coming strong.”

That was Mayor LaToya Cantrell of New Orleans, warning of the approach of Hurricane Zeta at Category 2 strength Zeta is expected to bring heavy rains and damaging winds to a state that has already been clobbered four times this hurricane season.

You can follow along with our live coverage here.

The storm is expected to move across the Southeastern and Eastern U.S. on Thursday, dumping up to six inches of rain in some locations.

5. Philadelphia is under curfew after two nights of protests over a police killing of a Black man, Walter Wallace Jr. Above, an arrest Tuesday night.

Mr. Wallace, a 27-year-old with a history of mental health problems, was killed on Monday, after the police responded to a call about a man with a knife. In an encounter captured on video, Mr. Wallace is seen walking into the street as two white police officers, backing away, aim their guns at him. Someone yells, “Drop the knife.”

Mr. Wallace appears to continue to approach. The officers fire multiple rounds.

His neighborhood, Port Richmond, has exploded in rage. Dozens of people have been arrested, protesters have looted stores, a police car was burned and 30 officers have been hurt.

6. Big Tech was back in the hot seat.

Chief executives from Google, Facebook and Twitter appeared before a Senate hearing on a law that protects internet companies from liability for much of what their users post, and on how they moderate content.

Democrats focused on misinformation and extremism. They also accused Republicans of holding the hearing to benefit President Trump.

Republicans accused the executives of selective censorship, questioning Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, above, on how the company handled specific tweets. “Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” Senator Ted Cruz said.

6. Tens of thousands of people took to Poland’s streets for a nationwide strike to protest a court decision banning nearly all abortions.

Now in their sixth day, the protests drew thousands of women, joined by numerous men, who abandoned their offices in dozens of cities, including Warsaw, above.

The ruling, made by a top court last week, stopped pregnancy terminations for fetal abnormalities, virtually the only type of abortion currently performed in the country. The protests have turned into a broader expression of anger at a right-wing government that opponents accuse of hijacking the judiciary and chipping away at the rights of women and minorities.

The leader of the ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, accused demonstrators of seeking the destruction of the nation and appealed to supporters to “defend churches.”

7. A radical proposal to combat climate change is gaining traction: artificially cooling the planet to buy humanity more time to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The idea, called solar climate intervention or solar geoengineering, is to inject particles into the atmosphere to reflect more of the sun’s energy back into space, the way ash clouds spewed by volcanic eruptions do.

“I liken geoengineering to chemotherapy for the planet: If all else is failing, you try it,” said the author of a book on the approach.

Several universities received grants to study how it might be done, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is researching. In Australia, the government is funding research for a parallel idea to try to save the Great Barrier Reef: making clouds more reflective by spraying saltwater into the air.

8. The day after the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first World Series in 32 years, the talk was not so much about the team’s victory as about its handling of the coronavirus.

The Dodgers got the news that third baseman Justin Turner had tested positive in the seventh inning, the team’s president of baseball operations said, at which point he was removed from the game.

But after the team won, the red-bearded Turner emerged onto the field, appearing with, and at times without, a mask, as in the victory photo above. The positive test raised questions about the handling of the situation by both M.L.B. and the Dodgers.

As for the game: Mookie Betts delivered two runs in the Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, sealing the title. Blake Snell, the Rays’ starting pitcher, was dominating the Dodgers when he was pulled, raising painful questions of what might have been.

9. “Song Exploder” may be your next Netflix binge.

The new show, based off a podcast by the same name, deftly explores the making of songs from R.E.M.; Alicia Keys, above; Lin-Manuel Miranda; and Ty Dolla Sign. “The show invites you to crawl through a window of the creative process and feel both exhilarated and humbled by it,” writes Wesley Morris, our critic at large.

For a more satirical option, the podcast “Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s” is 177 deadpan episodes in, investigating a question nobody’s asking in a send-up of podcasts, the business of podcasting and the quirks of investigative journalism.

10. And finally, the language of plants.

Latin might seem like an obscure, inscrutable language, but learning the scientific names of plants can open up the botanical world in ways you can’t imagine.

Ross Bayton, who has a doctorate in plant taxonomy and recently wrote “The Gardener’s Botanical: An Encyclopedia of Latin Plant Names,” suggests starting with the plants in your garden, or even your houseplants. Simply knowing a plant’s genus, such as Hydrangea, doesn’t tell you the whole story. The second word in the botanical Latin binomial offers further clues about geography or appearance. Hydrangea macrophylla, for instance, is a big-leafed version.

Our garden expert, Margaret Roach, writes that this unofficial course is a bit of a treasure hunt but urges readers to “give in to the arcane.”

Have a verdant night.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button