Thursday Briefing

A sign in Mexico City earlier this year read, “Abortion out of the penal code.”Credit…Quetzalli Nicte-Ha/Reuters

Mexico decriminalizes abortion nationwide

In a sweeping decision, Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down the federal penal code that criminalized abortion, deeming it “unconstitutional” and making abortion legally accessible in all federal health institutions across the country. It also ruled against bans on medical providers, including midwives, from performing the procedure.

The ruling has no effect on local laws, and abortion remains illegal in 20 of the predominantly Catholic country’s 32 states. But even in those states, women can now legally seek abortion in federal hospitals and clinics. The ruling also protects employees at those facilities from being penalized for carrying out abortions.

Countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Guyana have also moved to either legalize or decriminalize abortion, in contrast to the U.S., where the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last year made it harder for women in some states to end their pregnancies.

Background: The Mexican Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that criminalizing abortion was unconstitutional, but that ruling applied only to the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas. Twelve Mexican states have now eliminated criminal penalties for the procedure.

Antony Blinken, right, announced more than $1 billion in new aid to Ukraine.Credit…Pool photo by Brendan Smialowski

Blinken visits Ukraine

During a visit to Kyiv, Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, announced more than $1 billion in new American aid to Ukraine. He was the highest-profile American official to visit the country since the beginning of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

The aid includes funding to rebuild the country after the war, as well as mine-resistant vehicles, which will assist Ukrainian troops in their push into Russian-occupied territory. Ukraine has retaken more than half of the territory that Russia seized after its full-scale invasion.

Related: A Russian missile killed at least 17 people in a bustling market in Kostyantynivka, a city in eastern Ukraine, one of the war’s deadliest strikes in recent months.

Other news from the war:

  • An election in Slovakia this month will be a test of European unity on Ukraine, and of Russia’s efforts to undermine it. The front-runner wants to halt arms shipments to Kyiv.

  • Russia’s extensive use of cluster munitions last year in Ukraine led to the highest number of casualties from the widely banned weapons in more than a decade, according to a new report.

Jenni Hermoso, center, has filed a criminal complaint after being forcibly kissed.Credit…Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Allegations of sexism in women’s soccer in Spain

Amid an investigation into a nonconsensual kiss between a player and Spain’s top soccer official, members of the country’s women’s soccer team have described an atmosphere in which they said they had received many subtle and not-so-subtle reminders over the years that, in the eyes of that top official, women should know their place.

More than a dozen women involved in Spanish soccer described more than a decade of systemic sexism ranging from paternalism and offhand remarks to verbal abuse. Women said they had been subjected to bedtime checks and had been ordered to leave their hotel doors ajar at night, and one high-ranking official quit after concluding that her hiring was just window dressing.


Around the World

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
  • The Biden administration will prohibit drilling in half of the National Petroleum Reserve and will cancel oil and gas leases awarded under Donald Trump in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

  • U.S. government officials are debating whether to begin calling the military takeover in Niger in late July a “coup.” Doing so could cut off aid.

  • Economic setbacks in China are emerging as perhaps the most sustained challenge to Xi Jinping’s agenda in over a decade in power.

  • Japan will make a second attempt today to launch a moon lander and a telescope into space after weather caused a postponement of the first mission.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Ismail Ferdous for The New York Times
  • Overreliance on remote learning technology during the pandemic led to “staggering” education inequality around the world, according to a U.N. agency.

  • Rare street protests have broken out in Bahrain in support of a hunger strike against what prisoners and their families say is mistreatment in the country’s largest prison, activists said.

  • A cyclone that has battered southern Brazil this week has killed at least 37 people, displaced 3,500 others and prompted the government to dispatch helicopters for rescues.

  • Leaders from across Africa, at a climate summit yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya, called for a restructuring of the way wealthier nations engage with the continent.

What Else Is Happening

  • A former British Army soldier facing terrorism-related charges escaped from a prison in southwest London yesterday, prompting a nationwide manhunt.

  • A district court in the U.S. will consider next month whether Google abused its power over online search.

  • An anonymous artist who gained attention with an A.I. track mimicking the voices of Drake and the Weeknd is gunning for a Grammy.

A Morning Read

Credit…Anna Watts for The New York Times

Movers have a front-row seat to one of the most stressful, vulnerable or even romantic moments in a couple’s relationship. And they see it all: romantic partners moving in together for the first time, families relocating and the newly single after a breakup.

“They don’t hesitate to have very open conversations with each other in front of you, so you kind of get a sense of their dynamic, of their relationship, like petty grievances or just weird stuff,” one mover said.


The secret world of soccer shoes: Players’ footwear has come a long way.

Italian Grand Prix winners and losers: Who performed best at Monza?

Who is Ben Shelton? Meet tennis’s new American phenomenon.

U.S. Open: An unseasonal stretch of extreme heat and humidity has left the stadiums sweltering.


Credit…Daniel Leal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A new Rolling Stones album

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood — the remaining members of the band — provided details yesterday about their first record of new material in 18 years, to be released on Oct. 20. The anticipated 12-track “Hackney Diamonds” is the group’s first album of original material since 2005 and the first since the drummer Charlie Watts died in 2021.

Philip Norman, the author of a major biography of the group, said he was anticipating a classic Stones sound. “This is the Stones we know and some of us have loved for the past six decades,” he said.

More classic rock: Freddie Mercury’s piano sold for more than $2 million at an auction in London.


Credit…Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

Bake so-called $250 chocolate chip cookies.

Listen to podcasts about modern dating.

Embark on a literary tour of Seoul.

Force bulbs in fall to have fresh flowers in winter.

Read “Wound,” by Oksana Vasyakina, about a bittersweet road trip across Russia.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and Wordle. You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Natasha

P.S. Colby College gave its annual courage in journalism award to Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter jailed in Russia.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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