Tax Plan, Roy Moore, Puerto Rico: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing


The winner, Roy Moore, above, is an ultraconservative judge who once defied a federal court order to remove a 2.6-ton Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building. He was backed by Stephen Bannon.

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Hilary Swift for The New York Times

3. We surveyed the hurricane damage in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Maria drowned what Irma couldn’t destroy. Above, the cleanup on St. Thomas.

Health officials in Puerto Rico say the situation there is increasingly dire, as residents struggle to find medical care, water and gasoline. One emergency room doctor said it was “like in war: You work with what you have.” These before-and-after photos show the extent of the devastation.

Many readers have asked us where to donate. Here’s our new guide to help you decide how best to direct your time or money.

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Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times

4. Workers have begun constructing eight prototypes of President Trump’s promised border wall on a dusty patch of land near San Diego.

Four will be concrete, and four will be made from “other materials.” Heights range from 18 feet to 30 feet. Local officials are bracing for possible protests at the building site.

Above, the existing fence, which has contributed to a dramatic reduction in illegal immigration through the area since the 1980s.

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Chris Mcgrath/Getty Images

5. The votes have been counted in Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum. The overwhelming majority — 92.7 percent — were pro-independence.

Kurds who voted “yes” have been celebrating since Monday evening, setting off fireworks and raising the Kurdish flag.

The vote was nonbinding and was not internationally recognized, but it’s still roiling the region. Iraq’s government called it illegal, and the prime minister is weighing whether to send troops into the disputed city of Kirkuk. Iraqi officials are also demanding control of the area’s two international airports.

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Santi Palacios/Associated Press

6. The Spanish region of Catalonia is scheduled to hold its own independence referendum on Sunday — and the central government is trying almost everything to stop it.

The standoff is turning turbulent, even potentially violent. Federal authorities have arrested Catalan officials, shut down pro-referendum websites, and sent in thousands of police officers from other regions.

“We are witnessing the worst democratic regression since the death of Franco,” Catalonia’s leader said in an interview. Here are the basics about the referendum.

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Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

7. First, the good news: More people are visiting America’s 59 national parks than ever before.

Now, the bad news: Trails are crowded, bathroom lines are long and litter seems to be everywhere.

Meanwhile, the park system has a maintenance backlog of more than $11 billion — and President Trump has proposed cutting its budget. Above, Zion National Park.

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NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona

8. Recognize home? NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft took this composite shot from 106,000 miles away, as it slingshotted past Earth on its way to meet an asteroid next year.

Australia is in the lower left, and the southwestern U.S. and Baja California is upper right, with the vastness of the Pacific in between.

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Bryan Derballa for The New York Times

9. “It’s going to feel like a garage workshop basically, and I’m going to play my songs and tell my stories.”

Bruce Springsteen spoke to our chief pop-music critic about “Springsteen on Broadway,” which opens in previews next week and runs through February. He called it “my first real job.” (No surprise to fans: He said a lot more, too.)

The show, for which he is writer, director and star, was inspired by an acoustic farewell concert that Mr. Springsteen played in the last days of the Obama administration.

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Comedy Central

10. Finally, Trevor Noah celebrated the end of the G.O.P.’s latest drive to kill the Affordable Care Act. But he refused to believe that congressional Republicans wouldn’t try again soon.

“This isn’t the first time we have been told it’s dead,” he noted. “It might be really sick, but it keeps surviving. It’s almost as if the Republican health bill also has Obamacare.”

Have a great night.

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

And don’t miss Your Morning Briefing, posted weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern, and Your Weekend Briefing, posted at 6 a.m. Sundays.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

If photographs appear out of order, please download the updated New York Times app from iTunes or Google Play.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

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