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Your Thursday Evening Briefing – The New York Times

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.

1. The Supreme Court overturned a New York law limiting guns in public, a ruling with major implications on laws restricting guns outside the home.

The 6-to-3 decision, the most sweeping ruling on firearms in decades, will be felt particularly in cities that had addressed gun crimes by restricting who can carry firearms. Five other states have similar laws; a wave of lawsuits is likely to follow. Mayor Eric Adams of New York City called the ruling “not rooted in reality,” adding, “We won’t have any sleep.”

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The case centered on a lawsuit from two men who were denied the licenses they sought in New York, saying that “the state makes it virtually impossible for the ordinary law-abiding citizen to obtain a license.” Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, said the Second Amendment protected “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

The decision comes after a spate of mass shootings, and after 15 Republican Senators joined Democrats on a test vote of a gun safety bill. Final passage could come by the end of the day.

2. Lawmakers presented new evidence of how Donald Trump tried to manipulate the Justice Department to help him cling to power.

The panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack took testimony from three former top Justice Department officials. In its fifth hearing, the committee detailed Trump’s unsuccessful push for department officials to falsely declare that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election and file lawsuits to benefit his campaign. Here’s the latest.

The committee revealed that a White House lawyer told Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department lawyer pushing a Trump-backed plan to subvert the election results, that he would be committing a felony if he helped to overturn the election. Earlier in the day, federal investigators searched Clark’s home.

3. The F.D.A. ordered Juul to stop selling e-cigarettes in the U.S., a big setback to the brand blamed for the teen vaping crisis.

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The agency said that Juul had provided insufficient and conflicting data about potentially harmful chemicals that could leach out of Juul’s liquid pods, which helped usher in an era of alternative nicotine products. An appeal is expected.

Many teens are also seeking out cannabis products. With THC levels close to 100 percent — vastly different than the joints smoked decades ago — the potent weed is making some teenagers highly dependent and dangerously ill.

4. The Biden administration proposed new rules that would bar discrimination against transgender students.

The expanded interpretation of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded programs, will now include “stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” The Education Department said it would draft a separate rule for school sports.

The rules, which still need to be finalized, also roll back major parts of a Trump administration policy that narrowed the scope of campus sexual misconduct investigations. The new guidance comes on the 50th anniversary of the landmark education provision.

5. European leaders granted Ukraine E.U. candidate status, a historic decision that begins a yearslong process of becoming a member.

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The step was seen as impossible mere weeks ago. But the symbolic gesture was another leap for European nations that have been rapidly shedding preconceptions and qualms to back Ukraine. The designation signals that a nation is in position, if certain conditions are met, to begin a process of changes and negotiations with the bloc.

On average, the process has taken other countries about 10 years; Turkey has been a candidate for 21 years, but is unlikely to join.

The move came as Ukrainian soldiers defended their last pocket of land in the Luhansk region after Russia bombarded a key supply line.

6. Afghan officials are winding down rescue efforts and turning their attention to aid after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake killed more than 1,000 people.

The Taliban government said that some supplies had already arrived from Iran, Qatar and Pakistan and called for assistance from aid agencies. The U.S., the U.N. and the W.H.O. also took steps to help. South Korea promised $1 million in humanitarian assistance.

The difficult terrain, weather and deep poverty in hard-hit areas of Paktika Province, in the remote southeast, pose a particular challenge. The area is also far from many clinics or hospitals that could help the wounded. These images show the scale of the damage.

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7. One year since the catastrophe at Champlain Towers in Florida, new documents, interviews and records shed light on a critical seven-minute period.

The security guard in the lobby hurriedly dialed 911 to report the initial failure, but he was not trained to use an audio warning system that could have saved more lives in the condo collapse, which killed 98 people. “If I had known about it, I would have pressed it,” he told The Times.

Today, a judge approved a more than $1 billion settlement involving insurance companies, developers and other parties tied to Champlain Towers. Securitas, the security company employed by the building, paid the largest portion — more than $500 million.

Second place was awarded to Winston, a winsome French bulldog, whose breed has become one of the most popular and expensive in the U.S. French bulldogs have been violently stolen from their owners with alarming frequency. Some owners have started carrying guns for protection.

9. Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” is “a biopic in the sense that ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is a Yelp review,” our film critic says.

Luhrmann attempts to bring Elvis Presley back to life by showing how his blend of blues, gospel, pop and country still permeates today. (And yes, there’s a whole lot of shaking going on.) But “its rendering of a quintessentially American tale of race, sex, religion and money teeters between glib revisionism and zombie mythology,” writes A.O. Scott.

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Presley had many roles, as the film illustrates, one of the least appreciated of which was as a gender pioneer. We looked at how the King broke fashion boundaries, too.

10. And finally, the biggest bacteria ever seen.

For centuries, scientists thought bacteria were too simple to produce big cells. Thiomargarita magnifica proved them wrong. Found in a Caribbean mangrove forest, these cells are thousands of times bigger than more familiar bacteria such as E. coli, which measures under a ten-thousandth of an inch — suggesting bigger, even more complex bacteria could be out there.

Thiomargarita magnifica grow to the size and shape of a human eyelash. “It would be like meeting another human the size of Mount Everest,” one microbiologist said.

Have a larger-than-life night.

Sarah Hughes and Sean Culligan compiled photos for this briefing.

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

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