Iran, Biden, World Cup: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone like the one seen above, ratcheting up tensions between the two countries.

President Trump warned that the U.S. would “not stand for it,” but offered a way out of escalation by blaming someone “loose and stupid” in Iran.

Our Interpreter columnist suggests an explanation for Tehran’s provocations: “Because Iran cannot defy American might on its own, it may be hoping to coerce European and Asian nations to rein in the United States.”

Separately, the Senate voted to block a multibillion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a bipartisan rebuke of the White House. But there is little likelihood of mustering votes to override President Trump’s expected veto.

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2. President Xi Jinping, above left, is visiting North Korea, the first time a Chinese leader has done so in 14 years. He received a lavish welcome from North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, above right, including a 21-gun salute.

A day earlier, the North Korean ruling party’s official newspaper published an article by Mr. Xi in which he wrote that China was willing to draw up a “grand plan” that would “realize permanent peace” on the Korean Peninsula.

One interpretation: Mr. Xi may try to make headway with Mr. Kim about concerns over North Korea’s nuclear program. He may then attempt to use the issue as a bargaining chip when he meets with President Trump next week at the G20 summit to discuss the trade war.

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3. Former Vice President Joe Biden, pictured earlier this week, is facing a stress test of his support among black voters, his strongest constituency.

Criticism has been intense over his recent comments about Senate “civility,” in which he recalled forging early working relationships with colleagues he disagreed with, including segregationist senators.

Mr. Biden later sharpened his words about the segregationists, but defended his long record on civil rights and lashed out at the Democratic rivals who condemned his remarks. The angry reaction to Mr. Biden’s comments reshaped what had been a relatively calm Democratic presidential primary a week ahead of the first debates.

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4. The race to occupy 10 Downing Street, above, as the leader of the U.K. has come down to two candidates.

Next month, around 160,000 members of Britain’s Conservative Party will decide who will succeed Theresa May as their leader. Because the party holds a majority in Parliament, the individual they select will become prime minister.

Tory lawmakers narrowed the choice today to Boris Johnson, the bombastic longtime Brexit advocate, and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, a mild-mannered ex-businessman who initially opposed Brexit, but now supports it.

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5. As the dangers and costs of climate change increase, policymakers are facing painful choices about protecting communities.

By one estimate, providing sea walls to coastal cities with more than 25,000 residents by 2040 would cost at least $42 billion. Add in smaller communities, and the cost balloons to 10 times that figure.

“Once you get into it, you realize we’re just not going to protect a lot of these places,” one environmental expert said.

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6. Slack, the workplace collaboration company used by more than 600,000 organizations, went public today at $38.50 per share.

Slack now has a valuation of $19.5 billion, almost triple its valuation as a private company, but still small by Silicon Valley standards.

Slack replaces email with a feature-rich system built around chat channels. Among rank-and-file employees, it can bring up mixed feelings, especially about privacy and productivity.

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7. How will movies survive the next 10 years?

We asked 24 major Hollywood figures, including Ava DuVernay, Jessica Chastain and J.J. Abrams, to speculate on whether there’s a future in theaters for anything besides blockbusters, whether greater opportunities for women and people of color will save the industry, how the Oscars might change and more.

Their message to the industry was clear: Adapt or die. “For a long time, people have been saying the business is changing, but that’s undeniable now,” Mr. Abrams said. “It’s on.”

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8. The N.B.A. draft is about to begin at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Names to watch: Zion Williamson, the powerhouse Duke forward who’s all but certain to be snapped up by the New Orleans Pelicans as the draft’s first pick, as well as Ja Morant of Murray State and R.J. Barrett, also from Duke. (And don’t count out the Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland.)

Our live briefing will follow the action, which starts at 7 p.m. Eastern.

In other sports news, the U.S. defeated Sweden, 2-0, in the Women’s World Cup. The team is undefeated heading into the round of 16.

Have you noticed the players’ bolder hair and makeup this year? We explain the choices of bright lipstick, hair extensions and, in one case, a leopard-print buzzcut.

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9. Are people less likely to return a wallet if there’s money inside?

A new study involving thousands of people in 40 countries defies conventional wisdom: Participants made an effort to return a filled wallet about 51 percent of the time — 11 percentage points more than when the wallet was empty. And the return rate seemed to increase with the amount of cash.

Speaking of everyday morality, The Times Magazine profiled Judge Judy Sheindlin, above, who has doled out stern assessments of small-claims disputes on TV for 23 years and counting.

She’s won three Emmys, and nearly 10 million Americans watch her show every day. But right now, all anyone wants to talk about is her new clip-in ponytail.

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10. And finally, a 100-meter dash — at 103 years old.

Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, above, who took up running late in life, competes in the 50- and 100-meter events at the National Senior Games. She is believed to be the oldest woman to formally compete on an American track. Two years ago, she set a record: 100 meters in 39.62 seconds.

In a Q. and A., she offered readers some wisdom. Stay in shape, she advised, and keep an eye out for life’s magic moments, “like sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, beautiful birds, music and people’s lovely comments to you.” Have a wonderful evening.

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

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