Schools, Supreme Court, Summer Gardens: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Credit...Audra Melton for The New York Times

1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue new guidelines on how to reopen the country’s schools.

The announcement came hours after President Trump assailed the agency’s current guidelines for reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic and threatened to cut off aid to schools that refuse to fully reopen this fall. Mr. Trump has no control over around 90 percent of school district budgets.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at a coronavirus task force briefing, said the C.D.C. would have guidelines next week but said the Trump administration didn’t want the guidance to be a reason schools didn’t open. “We just don’t want the guidance to be too tough,” he said.

Credit...Scott Varley/Torrance Daily Breeze, via Getty Images

2. The Supreme Court sided with religious employers in two sweeping decisions.

The justices upheld Trump administration regulations that allow employers with religious objections to decline to provide contraception coverage. As a consequence of the ruling, about 70,000 to 126,000 women could lose coverage from their employers, according to government estimates. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Credit...Brett Carlsen for The New York Times

3. Five months into the pandemic, the U.S. still hasn’t solved the problem of protective gear.

As coronavirus cases surge across the country, hospitals, nursing homes and medical practices are facing a dire shortage of respirator masks, isolation gowns and disposable gloves that protect front-line medical workers from infection.

The dearth of supplies is renewing pleas for White House intervention. In a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence played down the shortages.

And while some states that carried out aggressive testing programs are faring well, they are not a miracle path to a safe reopening. Tennessee offers a cautionary tale about the limits of testing. Above, testing in Nashville last week.

Credit...Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times

4. George Floyd told police officers more than 20 times that he could not breathe, according to new transcripts of body camera footage released by the Minneapolis Police Department.

The transcripts paint a portrait of a man who knew he was going to die and offer one of the most thorough and dramatic accounts yet of Mr. Floyd’s final minutes. Above, a memorial in Minneapolis.

Several times he exclaims that officers are killing him. At one point, Derek Chauvin, the officer who pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck until he was no longer moving, says, “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

The filings were made in court by Thomas Lane, a former officer who wants charges that he aided and abetted Mr. Floyd’s murder dismissed.

Credit...Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

5. The pandemic’s grip on the economy continues.

United Airlines said it could furlough as many as 36,000 workers, nearly 40 percent of its staff, starting in October if travel remained weak and if enough employees didn’t leave voluntarily. The airline is also cutting almost a third of its managerial and administrative employees.

And Brooks Brothers, the oldest U.S. apparel brand in continuous operation, filed for bankruptcy, the latest retailer to fall during the pandemic. The company, founded in 1818 and based in New York, said the filing would allow it to obtain additional financing as it facilitates a sale.

6. President Trump’s niece was a family outcast. Her new book casts a cold light on the relatives she describes as dysfunctional. Above, Donald Trump with his parents, Fred and Mary Anne, in 1992.

Our Washington and New York reporters, who have covered the Trump family for years, unpacked the inside story of Mary L. Trump’s tell-all memoir, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

While the book is unlikely to change anybody’s mind, our book critic Jennifer Szalai writes that the kinds of details Ms. Trump provides give “this book an undeniable power.” It’s a memoir, she says, “that’s been written from pain and is designed to hurt.”

Here’s the review.

Credit...Michael Nigro/Pacific Press, via LightRocket, via Getty Images

7. Is this the end of new pipelines?

More than 9,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines are in the works in the U.S., and another 12,500 miles have been announced — together, almost enough to circle the Earth.

But defeats at three projects this week — the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — reflect increasingly sophisticated legal challenges, shifting economics and growing demands by states to fight climate change. Above, a protester fighting the Dakota Access project in 2017.

As one analyst put it, “You cannot build anything big in energy infrastructure in the United States outside of specific areas like Texas and Louisiana, and you’re not even safe in those jurisdictions.”

Credit...Brad Ogbonna for The New York Times

8. We checked in with some new and old acts.

Two years ago, Wyatt Cenac’s HBO series “Problem Areas” tried to take on police reform in a comedic way. But being ahead of its time didn’t help keep it on the air. “It is very bizarre to think that when we did it, people just weren’t ready to hear about it or think about it,” Mr. Cenac, above, said.

The Chicks, the trio formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, have survived a presidential feud and arguably the first attempted cancellation of the internet era. Now they’re back with their first album in 14 years, and as their lead vocalist put it, a new superpower: “a true ability to not care” what people think of them.

Credit...Illustration by Sophy Hollington

9. When reality is this surreal, only fiction can make sense of it.

So goes the latest issue of The Times Magazine, with 29 new short stories inspired by the moment. The issue was inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” written as the plague ravaged Florence in the 14th century.

Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange, Uzodinma Iweala, and Rachel Kushner are among the featured writers.

And in case you missed it, Ms. Atwood was among 153 prominent artists and intellectuals who signed an open letter, published by Harper’s, that argued for openness to “opposing views.” Debate began immediately.

10. And finally, a blueprint for a green thumb.

Our garden expert spoke with Bill Noble, a garden designer and former director of preservation at the Garden Conservancy, about developing the ideal garden plan. His process involves two kinds of efforts: accentuating the best views and developing spaces within his boundaries.

Whether you want to frame a view in your garden or block one (your neighbor’s house, for example), sometimes all it takes is a few well-placed plants — and some guiding principles. Here are some of his suggestions.

Have a lush night.

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

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