Three weeks after 19 children and two teachers died in a gun massacre at a Texas elementary school, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators yesterday struck a deal on a gun control bill. The agreement includes enhanced background checks for people under the age of 21 and a provision to close the boyfriend loophole by extending a prohibition on gun ownership for domestic abusers. The deal, which still faces a hard path in Congress, amounts to significant progress. But it falls short of the sprawling reforms that President Biden, gun control activists and a majority of Democrats have championed, such as universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. The plan would also tighten federal laws to stop gun trafficking and make sure all commercial sellers are conducting background checks, as an opportunity to pass the most significant gun safety legislation in decades, according to Democrats. The plan could still draw the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate, according to the backing of 10 Republicans.
Since the ban was passed, abortion-rights activists have been threatened with prison for handing out abortion pills, and there have been a number of Polish women traveling abroad to get abortions. The law still allows abortions if there is a serious risk to a woman's health, but critics say it fails to provide necessary clarity. Krystyna Kacpura, the president of the Federation for Women and Family Planning, said it was hard to go back once you start chipping away at the right to abortion. We are at a point where the risks to women's physical and mental health have reached a new quality. Russia is poised to encircle Sievierodonetsk, a city critical to its goal of seizing Ukraine's east, while the neighboring city of Lysychansk is squarely in Moscow's sights. Ukrainians have dwindled weaponry with which to defend their territory, prompting Ukrainian officials to call on NATO allies for faster delivery of longer-range weapons. With the momentum of the war shifting more decisively in Russia's favor, Ukraine s allies in Europe and elsewhere may find themselves forced to confront more fundamental questions than what kind of weapons to provide, including whether to pressure Ukraine to reach a peace agreement with Russia or risk Russian escalation with more aggressive military support.
By analyzing tree rings visible in the wood of two 17th century instruments, a team of researchers led by Mauro Bernabei, a Dendrochronologist at the Italian National Research Council in San Michele all Adige, has found evidence that Stradivari might have honed his craft. The instruments — a harp by Stradivari and a cello by the master Nicola Amati — appear to have been made from the same 17th century spruce. The findings are consistent with the theory that the young Stradivari shared a workshop and perhaps apprenticed with Amati, who was about 40 years his senior. Such a link has been hypothesized for a long time, but it has remained stubbornly tenuous.
That was it for today's briefing. The Times'video team won two Peabody Awards for its coverage of the Jan. 6 riot in the Capitol and the war in Gaza.