(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Italy restricted movement across the entire country as it sought to contain its coronavirus outbreak, the worst anywhere outside China.
The prime minister asked all 60 million residents to stay home, one of the largest-ever bids to restrict the movement of people in a democracy. Anyone who needs to travel through the country for reasons of work, health or special needs will be required to get permission.
Italy has recorded more than 9,000 infections and 463 deaths, and the numbers continue to climb fast. Above, a deserted street in Venice.
And there were new quarantines, regulations and cancellations across the globe. In the U.S., where there is now more than 600 cases, four states have declared emergencies: California, New York, Oregon and Washington State. And Ireland canceled its St. Patrick’s Day parades.
2. An oil war tanked financial markets.
Without a deal over the weekend between Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut crude oil output, already-spooked stocks were stampeded by a potential deluge of oil. Above, oil bases in Iraq.
The S&P 500 plunged 7.6 percent today, marking a 19 percent pullback since Feb. 19. A bear market — considered a 20 percent drop from recent highs — would end what has been the longest bull market in U.S. stocks.
Our Upshot correspondent Neil Irwin reports that bond yields and commodity prices are indicating a recession is becoming more likely and will probably leave scars for years to come.
Frantic about your funds? If your long-term plan hasn’t changed, your investments probably shouldn’t either, experts say. Or maybe you’re retiring into a shaky market: Many funds tailored for retirees are down less than half of the S&P loss.
3. It’s the eve of another primary race.
Six states are set to vote on Tuesday, including Michigan, which is expected to be crucial for Democrats in November. The industrial Midwest has become a major focus of the presidential race between Bernie Sanders, above, and Joe Biden.
The Sanders campaign has exposed a class divide within the Democratic Party: His promises of a leg up are most alluring to those who need it, and most confounding to those who do not.
4. Ashraf Ghani took the oath of office as president of Afghanistan. So did his rival.
Separated only by a wall, President Ghani, above, and his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, delivered competing speeches that were broadcast on split screens. Marathon efforts led by U.S. diplomats failed to prevent a divided government after a monthslong dispute over September’s election.
It played out in the middle of a negotiated peace plan between the U.S. and the Taliban, which calls for a full U.S. military withdrawal.
5. North Korea is successfully evading U.S. sanctions.
The country is selling coal to Chinese companies to raise millions of dollars for its nuclear weapons program, analysts say. It is also importing luxury goods like armored sedans, alcohol and robotic machinery for the ruling elite.
Above, a news report on South Korean TV about a recent missile test by the North.
The efforts to raise money are aided by the country’s sophisticated cybercrime operations that target financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges.
6. New federal rules will let people use apps to get their medical information directly from their doctors.
The Department of Health and Human Services said the system was intended to make it easy for people to manage their health care on smartphones. Above, the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
But organizations like the American Medical Association have warned that, without safeguards, the rules could expose people to serious data abuses, especially if they share their medical details with consumer apps.
7. Trainers and vets routinely drugged their racehorses, prosecutors said in wide-ranging indictments.
Jason Servis, above, the trainer of Maximum Security, who was disqualified as the winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby, was charged along with two dozen other trainers, veterinarians and drug distributors.
They were accused of manufacturing and distributing adulterated and misbranded drugs and secretly administering them to racehorses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York.
8. The actor Max von Sydow has died at age 90.
Familiar to audiences from movies like “The Exorcist,” “Minority Report” and “Hannah and Her Sisters,” Mr. von Sydow also made more recent appearances in a “Star Wars” movie and in “Game of Thrones.”
He was also closely associated with the director Ingmar Bergman, a fellow Swede, and appeared in his classics “The Seventh Seal” and “The Virgin Spring.” Here are 13 of his best movies and how to stream them.
9. Led Zeppelin is ascendant on “Stairway to Heaven.”
An appellate court upheld a jury’s verdict that the 1971 song, an eight-minute classic that by some estimates has earned more than $500 million, did not copy “Taurus,” a song recorded by the band Spirit in 1968.
A musicologist who testified said that similar patterns have popped up in music for over 300 years.
10. And finally, the prince exits Britain, stage west.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, took part in their final engagement before they decamp for western Canada, and an uncertain new life as semi-royals.
Westminster Abbey, the venue for the couple’s last official ceremony honoring the British Commonwealth, was laden with symbols of the life they are leaving behind: It is where Queen Elizabeth, his grandmother, was crowned in 1953; where Prince William, his brother, was married in 2011; and where 30 kings and queens are buried, going back to 1066.
Have a grand evening.
Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.
And don’t miss Your Morning Briefing. Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European, African or American morning.
Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.
What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at email@example.com.