The Safe Haven Baby Box at a firehouse in Carmel, Ind., looked like a library book drop. It had been available for three years for anyone who wanted to surrender a baby anonymously.
No one had ever used it, though, until early April. When its alarm went off, Victor Andres, a firefighter, opened the box and found, to his disbelief, a newborn boy wrapped in towels.
The discovery made the local TV news, which praised the courage of the mother, calling it “a time for celebration.” Later that month, Mr. Andres pulled another newborn, a girl, from the box. In May, a third baby appeared. By summer, three more infants were left at baby box locations throughout the state.
Studies show that the vast majority of women denied an abortion are uninterested in adoption and go on to raise their children.
But the safe haven movement has become much more prominent, in part because of a boost from a charismatic activist with roots in anti-abortion activism, Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
With Ms. Kelsey and allies lobbying across the country, states like Indiana, Iowa and Virginia have sought to make safe haven surrenders easier, faster and more anonymous — allowing older babies to be dropped off, or allowing relinquishing parents to leave the scene without speaking to another adult or sharing any medical history.
Some who work with safe haven children are concerned about the baby boxes, in particular. There are now more than 100 across the country.
research found that more than half the children have health or developmental issues, often stemming from inadequate prenatal care. In California, unlike in Indiana, safe haven surrenders must be done face-to-face, and parents are given an optional questionnaire on medical history, which often reveals serious problems such as drug use.
Still, many children do well. Tessa Higgs, 37, a marketing manager in southern Indiana, adopted her 3-year-old daughter, Nola, after the girl was dropped off at a safe haven just hours after her birth. Ms. Higgs said the biological mother had called the Safe Haven Baby Box hotline after seeing one of the group’s billboards.
“From day one, she has been so healthy and happy and thriving and exceeding all developmental milestones,” Ms. Higgs said of Nola. “She’s perfect in our eyes.”
pointed to research showing that over the long term, birth parents feel more satisfied about giving up their children if biological and adoptive families maintain a relationship.
reclaim custody of their children. Such cases can take months or even years to resolve.
Birth mothers are also not immune from legal jeopardy, and may not be able to navigate the technicalities of each state’s safe haven law, said Lori Bruce, a medical ethicist at Yale.
While many states protect surrendering mothers from criminal prosecution if babies are healthy and unharmed, mothers in severe crisis — dealing with addiction or domestic abuse, for example — may not be protected if their newborns are in some way affected.
The idea of a traumatized, postpartum mother being able to “correctly Google the laws is slim,” Ms. Bruce said.
With the demise of Roe, “we know we are going to see more abandoned babies,” she added. “My concern is that means more prosecutors are going to be able to prosecute women for having unsafely abandoned their children — or not following the letter of the law.”
On Friday, the Indiana governor signed legislation banning most abortions, with slim exceptions.
And the safe haven movement continues apace.
Ms. Higgs, the adoptive mother, has stayed in touch with Monica Kelsey of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. “The day that I found out about Roe v. Wade, I texted Monica and was like, ‘Are you ready to get even busier?’”
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said she would support the bill after Democratic leaders agreed to drop a $14 billion tax increase on some wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives that she had opposed.They also changed the structure of a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations and included drought relief money to benefit Arizona.
The bill still needs to clear hurdles before the Senate can pass it. With Republicans united in opposition, all Democrats in the 50-50 Senate have to vote for it before it can become law.
added 528,000 jobs last month, the Department of Labor said, an unexpectedly strong gain that showed the labor market was not slowing despite higher interest rates, at least so far.
The impressive performance — which brings total employment back to its level of February 2020, just before the pandemic lockdowns — provides new evidence that the country has not entered a recession. But with the Federal Reserve pursuing an aggressive policy of interest rate increases, most forecasters expect the labor market to cool later in the year, as companies cut payrolls to match lower demand.
was part of the agonizing trial in which a jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz — who pleaded guilty to the shooting rampage that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 — should be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment.
One by one, the relatives and friends described the depths of their despair since losing their loved ones four years ago. “The night no longer brings intimacy and comfort,” said Debra Hixon, the wife of Chris Hixon, the school’s athletic director who was killed in the shooting. “Just the loudness of the silence.”
The defense is scheduled to begin its case later this month.
In other courtroom news, a jury decided that the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting $45.2 million in punitive damages.
new careers and job titles have sprung into existence, such as “head of team anywhere” and “vice president of flexible work.” The lasting power of these new positions has yet to be tested.
watch Morpheus, the king of dreams, and his supernatural siblings in Netflix’s take on the award-winning, genre-blending comic.
Gaiman said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine that “The Sandman” had endured because new generations “find it, and it’s their comic. It’s their story.”
In other news about August premieres, Abbi Jacobson, the star and co-creator of the series “A League of Their Own,” said she wants to tell stories about insecure people and then “what if the most insecure, unsure person is the leader?”
record-setting heat that will most likely worsen because of climate change.
But several people in the industry say a growing number of travelers are adjusting their plans to account for high temperatures by heading to coastal or northern destinations and booking trips in the cooler months of April, May, September and October.
In another climate concern, glassbottles may be perfect for aging wine, but making them requires an enormous amount of heat and energy.
10. And finally, a glimmer of hope for Loch Ness monster believers.
A discovery by researchers in Britain and Morocco added weight to the hypothesis that long-necked prehistoric reptiles known as plesiosaurs might have lived in lakes, rivers and oceans. The team found fossils of 12 plesiosaurs, proof that it was not just one plesiosaur that wandered into freshwater and then died there.
MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida suspended the top prosecutor in Tampa on Thursday, accusing him of incompetence and neglect of duty for vowing not to prosecute those who seek or provide abortions.
In a startling announcement, Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, suspended from office Andrew H. Warren, the elected state attorney of Hillsborough County. In June, Mr. Warren, a Democrat, was among 90 elected prosecutors across the country who vowed not to prosecute those who seek or provide abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Florida imposed a 15-week abortion ban in April.
The decision immediately raised concerns among Democrats, including Mr. Warren, who say that the governor has become increasingly heavy-handed.
Aramis D. Ayala, a Democrat who was then the state attorney in Orlando, startled the state by saying she would not seek the death penalty in any cases, Mr. Scott reassigned more than two dozen cases to another state attorney’s office. But he did not suspend Ms. Ayala, who did not seek re-election after her term and is now running for Florida attorney general.
Mr. DeSantis has been much more aggressive. Shortly after taking office in 2019, he suspended Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County, a Democrat, faulting him for his handling of the mass shooting at a Parkland high school in 2018, even though Mr. Israel had not been criminally charged. Mr. Israel unsuccessfully appealed his suspension to the courts and the State Senate and later lost a re-election bid.
Mr. DeSantis is up for re-election in November and has faced growing criticism from Democrats that his approach to governing has become increasingly authoritarian. On Thursday, the two leading Democrats vying to challenge him, Representative Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner, reacted to Mr. Warren’s suspension by referring to Mr. DeSantis in statements as a “wannabe dictator” (Mr. Crist) and a “dictator” (Ms. Fried).
Miriam Krinsky, the executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, which put out the statement against criminalizing abortion that Mr. Warren signed in June, called his suspension “an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion on the separation of powers and the will of the voters.”
their joint statement in June. “Prosecutors should not be part of that.”
Mr. Warren had previously criticized Mr. DeSantis for enacting anti-protest legislation and creating an election crimes office.
In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. DeSantis cited a second statement from Fair and Just Prosecution that Mr. Warren signed that pledged not to criminalize “transgender people and gender-affirming health care.”
“I don’t think the people of Hillsborough want to have an agenda that is basically woke, where you’re deciding that your view of social justice means certain laws shouldn’t be enforced,” Mr. DeSantis said.
Mr. DeSantis has recently blasted surgeries for transgender adolescents, saying doctors who perform such procedures should be sued. Major medical groups have endorsed so-called gender-affirming medical care for teenage patients, including the use of puberty blockers and hormones when necessary. Genital surgeries are not recommended for those under 18, while guidelines say mastectomies can be offered to teenagers 15 and up.
The Florida Department of Health has said that it opposes all transition-related care for children, including social changes like names and pronouns.
SACRAMENTO — Widening his attack on Republican states for their positions on guns, civil rights and abortion, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Wednesday called on Hollywood to “walk the walk” on liberal values by bringing back their film and television productions from states such as Georgia and Oklahoma.
Mr. Newsom issued the challenge through an ad in Variety that asked the state’s left-leaning creative community to “take stock of your values — and those of your employees — when doing business in those states.”
The Democratic governor on Wednesday simultaneously endorsed a legislative proposal that would provide a $1.65 billion, five-year extension of California’s film and television production tax credit program.
took the opportunity to rebuke Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas for previously enabling its residents to sue abortion providers.
Tulsa King,” Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming crime drama starring Sylvester Stallone, has been filming this summer for Paramount+ in Oklahoma.
announced that film and television productions generated $4.4 billion in the state this fiscal year, a new record. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was filmed in the state, the governor noted, as was the fourth season of “Stranger Things.”
thick of that power struggle for months, trolling Mr. DeSantis on Twitter and inviting Disney to rethink its Florida investments. The Variety ad was the latest in a series of initiatives by Mr. Newsom to take his defense of “California values” onto a national stage.
A $105,000 spot that ran in Florida last month — attacking Mr. DeSantis and inviting Florida businesses to come to California — was the opening salvo in a national effort by Mr. Newsom that has included newspaper ads in Texas attacking Mr. Abbott on abortion restrictions and a highly publicized trip to Washington, D.C., to discuss, among other things, gun legislation.
film production incentives during the pandemic, has banned nearly all abortions since the Roe v. Wade reversal. And Georgia, which has one of the nation’s most generous packages of film production incentives, has granted fetuses full legal recognition. This week, a Georgia tax agency found that pregnant women could take a $3,000 personal tax exemption for any fetus with a detectable heartbeat.
Mr. Newsom noted that California’s abortion rights are among the most secure in the nation. The state has also enacted some of the nation’s toughest laws on gun safety and civil liberties for L.G.B.T.Q. people.
California’s film tax credit — which the state created in 2009 after productions began decamping for Canada — has been of debatable value, even with an expansion and overhaul in 2014. The incentive allows filmmakers to recoup as much as 25 percent of their spending — up to the first $100 million — on crew salaries and other costs, excluding star salaries. But other states, including Georgia, offer more significant rebates.
Critics complain that the tax credit encourages bidding wars and rarely keeps productions in the state over the long term. A 2019 analysis by the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that one-third of the projects that received the subsidies probably would have been made in California regardless.
“While the credit probably caused some film and television projects to be made here, many other similar projects also were made here without receiving any financial incentive,” the report said.
another study, conducted this year for the Motion Picture Association by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., that concluded that California’s program had helped create more than 110,000 jobs and tens of billions of dollars in economic output. In recent years, the tax credit has also helped bring shows such as “American Horror Story,” “Veep” and “Lucifer” back from other states and countries to California.
MENTONE, Texas — In America’s least populated county, the rusting ruins of houses, oil drilling operations and an old gas station interrupt the sun-blanched landscape. A hand-painted wood sign still promises good food at “Chuck’s Wagon” to drivers along State Road 302, though the proprietor died months ago and the wagon is gone.
Apart from the brick courthouse, the convenience store packed with off-shift oil-field workers and the lone sit-down restaurant where you’re liable to see the sheriff at lunch, everything else that the county’s 57 recorded residents might need is a ways away. No school. No church. No grocery store.
But while it might seem quiet, all has not been well in Loving County. The first sign of the brewing conflict came last spring with the killing of five cows, shot to death and left in the dry dirt.
told Texas Monthly in the 1990s.
In 2020, the U.S. census counted 64 county residents of all ages. That same year, 66 people voted for president in the general election. The census estimate has since gone down to 57 people, though that does not include the oil field workers who stay in temporary camps that dot the landscape.
Among the contested local races in November, Brandon Jones’s wife is running against the county clerk, who is Skeet Jones’s sister. And a county commissioner, who was among those arrested after showing up for jury duty, is also facing a challenge.
“Before all this, I really thought I liked politics,” said the constable, Brandon Jones. “But now, not so much.”
told NBC News that he “never, never, ever had a conversation about stray cattle with the judge.” A sheriff’s deputy, Noah Cole, told The Times that the office had no role in the investigation.
With what happened to the dead cattle a lingering mystery, the cow cop hatched a plan to catch any rustlers in the act.
Mr. Baker released three head of unmarked cattle, with microchips, as bait. Eventually, they were caught and brought to market by Skeet Jones and his ranch hands, Mr. Baker wrote.
In late May, a dusty column of law enforcement trucks tore down the dirt road to the Jones family ranch.
“It was just crazy,” said Jacob Jones, the county judge’s son, who was working at the ranch as a scrum of officers arrived.
in an interview with NBC, saying he had “free rein” as judge that gave him “a sense of power and impunity that he can do whatever he wants.”
Senate Bill 1111, changed things. The law was designed to stop people from registering to vote in places where they don’t live in order to sway elections, which has occasionally occurred in Texas.
to H-E-B if we want decent groceries. They could live out here if they wanted to. But they don’t.”
Mr. Simonsen, the county attorney, conceded that some people may live elsewhere, but said that did not necessarily disqualify them from voting.
So long as you are not voting in two places, he said, “Essentially, your residence is where you say it is.”
The most immediate result of Ms. King’s bid to clean up elections is that it’s now even harder to assemble a jury.
At least two people recently summoned for a grand jury have written to say they do not want to appear because they fear being arrested, Mr. Simonsen said, and the county has been unable to seat a grand jury.
With the flurry of law enforcement activity in recent weeks, it can seem as if everyone in the county will soon need a lawyer. Mr. Simonsen said he was trying to find the humor in it.
“Every morning, I walk over here,” he said, “and when they ask, ‘How’s it going?’ I say, ‘I haven’t been arrested yet!’”
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Madison Underwood was lying on the ultrasound table, nearly 19 weeks pregnant, when the doctor came in to say her abortion had been canceled.
Nurses followed and started wiping away lukewarm sonogram gel from her exposed belly as the doctor leaned over her shoulder to speak to her fiancé, Adam Queen.
She recalled that she went quiet, her body went still. What did they mean, they couldn’t do the abortion? Just two weeks earlier, she and her fiancé had learned her fetus had a condition that would not allow it to survive outside the womb. If she tried to carry to term, she could become critically ill, or even die, her doctor had said. Now, she was being told she couldn’t have an abortion she didn’t even want, but needed.
U.S. Supreme Court had overturned the constitutional right to abortion. A Tennessee law passed in 2020 that banned abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy had been blocked by a court order but could go into effect.
doctors feared making those decisions too soon and facing prosecution. Across the country, the legal landscape was shifting so quickly, some abortion clinics turned patients away before the laws officially took effect or while legal battles played out in state courts.
Century-old bans hanging around on the books were activated, but then just as quickly were under dispute. In states where abortion was still legal, wait times at clinics spiked as women from states with bans searched for alternatives.
It was into this chaos that Ms. Underwood was sent home, still pregnant, and reeling. What would happen now? The doctor said she should go to Georgia, where abortions were still legal up to 22 weeks, though that state had a ban that would soon take effect.
Read More on Abortion Issues in America
How would her fiancé get the time off work to make the trip? How would they come up with hotel and gas money? How long did she have until she herself became ill? A new, more terrifying question hit her: What if she felt a kick?
‘I Want a Girl’
Mr. Queen said he realized his fiancée was pregnant before she did.
She had thrown up almost every morning for an entire week and had started asking for Chinese takeout, which she normally hated. One night in May, after his shift as manager at a Dollar General store, he brought home a pregnancy test for her. He hoped and prayed it would come back positive.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The nurse practitioner told the family it would be able to be fixed through surgery, and that there might be an intellectual disability or developmental delay, possibly seizures. Ms. Underwood and her fiancé were “OK with that,” she said. But she was concerned the baby would have to have surgery just after birth. “I was just so scared,” she said.
They also learned they were having a girl. They decided to name her Olivia, after Ms. Underwood’s grandfather, Oliver.
The doctors referred the family to Regional Obstetrical Consultants, a chain of clinics that specializes in high-risk pregnancy treatments. The practice declined to comment for this article.
There, the family said they learned more devastating news: The fetus had not formed a skull. Even with surgery, doctors said, there would be nothing to protect the brain, so she would survive at most a few hours, if not minutes, after birth.
lift a nearly two-year-old injunction that had blocked an attempt to ban abortions after about the sixth week of pregnancy. The injunction was lifted one day after Ms. Underwood’s abortion was canceled.
Her parents and grandparents, who oppose abortion, took it as a sign to reconsider. They had prayed for God to stop the abortion if it wasn’t supposed to happen, and when it didn’t, they were convinced she should try to carry the pregnancy to term.
“We were just hoping for a miracle,” said her mother, Jennifer Underwood.
They said she should give birth so she could see Olivia, say goodbye and bury her.
She told them no. “I’m doing what I think I can handle,” Ms. Underwood would say later, sobbing in between words.
Mr. Queen’s mother said she supported the couple’s decision from the start. At age 12, she was raped and ended up giving birth to a stillborn baby.
“Religion has nothing to do with it. Sometimes your body just does things to you, and if you have to have an abortion, don’t feel guilty about it,” she said.
As stress on the couple mounted, Mr. Queen quit his job to take care of Ms. Underwood. His mother raised $5,250 to help with travel costs from the crowd funding website GoFundMe. The cash would also help pay for the fetus’s cremation.
‘Our Baby Is Going to Die’
Two cars left Pikeville at 2 a.m. in early July for a four-hour drive across state lines and time zones to make the 8 a.m. appointment at an abortion clinic in Georgia. Ms. Underwood, Mr. Queen and his mother were in one car; Ms. Underwood’s parents and one of her brothers followed.
When they stopped at the third Circle K of the night, she squeezed her own mother tight and cried. Her parents had made a last-minute decision to accompany her, even if they didn’t fully agree.
At sunrise, the couple sat in a corner booth at a Waffle House, his hand massaging her back.
She would have a two step-procedure known as a D&E, a dilation and evacuation, over two days. First, she would be given medication to induce dilation, and sent to her hotel room to wait. The next day, she would return to the clinic to finish the procedure. The Georgia clinic’s staff warned the family about protesters outside. As they pulled into the parking lot, they drove by a man with signs showing dead fetuses.
“Are all of you OK with killing babies?” he shouted into a megaphone.
He approached Ms. Underwood’s parents’ car, and her mother rolled down the window.
“We’re on the same side of this as you,” her mother said. “We don’t support abortion, but the doctors said our baby is going to die.”
“You trust doctors more than God?” he replied.
The couple walked side-by-side up a steep hill to the clinic entrance. She wore headphones to drown out the protesters.
Six hours later, they came back out. The parking lot was quiet.
At Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, the first 911 call was made after about five minutes, and the first officers arrived at the school less than four minutes later. Still, 20 children and six adults were killed. In Parkland, Fla., the gunman killed 17 people in just under six minutes.
Even in Uvalde, where the police have been criticized for waiting on site for more than an hour, the gunman is believed to have fired more than 100 rounds within the first three minutes, according to a state report.
“Time is all that matters,” Mr. Irvine said. “It’s that simple.”
Of the eight school employees being trained, Mandi was in some ways an anomaly. She was the only woman in the group. Several others were administrators — a superintendent, a principal — rather than teachers.
In other ways, she was typical.
Everyone had some comfort with guns. Mandi described hunting with her husband and shooting at a gun range on weekends. She said she had taken other firearms classes, including concealed carry training, one of the prerequisites to participate in FASTER.
Like others, she worked in a rural area, where carrying guns in schools is more common, in part because of longer response times by the police. One group in the training, from Oklahoma, estimated the response time in its area was at least 22 minutes.
“The last thing I want is for people to think we are just a bunch of gunslinging teachers who want an excuse to carry guns in schools,” said Mark, a middle-school teacher in Ohio who described measuring his school’s hallway to determine how far he needed to learn to shoot.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — To shield heartsick families from the most macabre details of how their loved ones were murdered in a mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the court handling the gunman’s sentencing trial has taken an extraordinary step: Graphic videos and photographs are shown only to the jury, so that victims’ relatives and others in the courtroom gallery do not have to endure them.
But the horrifying particulars, conveyed in emotional witness testimony, chilling audio recordings and dispassionate forensic accounts, are impossible to avoid altogether: How a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tied a baby blanket around a wounded student’s arm as a tourniquet. How the gunfire from a semiautomatic rifle boomed inside a classroom under attack. How the high-powered bullets ravaged children’s bodies.
Prosecutors argue that the grisly specifics, while painful, are necessary to prove to the jury that the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, who has pleaded guilty to 17 murders and 17 attempted murders, deserves the death penalty instead of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The judge has allowed the evidence over the objections of defense lawyers, who say that it is repetitive, gruesome and intended to prejudice the jury against their client.
are extremely rare, becausethey have almost always died during the attack. The public is hardly ever forced to confront grim evidence from autopsy reports, surveillance video and survivors’ testimony in proceedings held years after the deadly rampage.
Many of the Parkland victims’ families have endorsed the prosecutors’ pursuit of the death penalty, even knowing that the trial would be excruciating. They have sat in a downtown Fort Lauderdale courtroom nearly every day since the state began presenting its case last week, shaking their heads, dabbing their eyes and holding on to one another during the most difficult moments.
Their view, however, is not unanimously held. A small number of people connected to the tragedy have publicly opposed capital punishment, in part because the very process of securing a death penalty verdict and waiting out the inevitable years of appeals would be so difficult.
wrote in 2019 in The South Florida Sun Sentinel. While he believed that Mr. Cruz deserved death, Mr. Schulman wrote, pursuing that sentence would involve reliving the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting over and over again.
preached forgiveness — is so unusual among the Parkland victims’ families who have spoken about the trial that his parents have publicly disagreed with him. They think Mr. Cruz, 23, should be sentenced to death.
“That day, the shooter should’ve been stopped,” Mr. Schentrup’s mother, April Schentrup, said. “We shouldn’t even have to endure this trial. If the police did what they were supposed to do, we wouldn’t be here.”
aggravating factors required under Florida law to justify the death penalty, according to Gail Levine, a former Miami-Dade County prosecutor who tried 15 capital homicides. The aggravating factors include that the murders were heinous, atrocious or cruel, and that they were committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated way.
“They have to prove that there are 17 murders and 17 attempted murders,” Ms. Levine said. “The suffering that these people endured has to be explained to the jury.”
The defense can counter — as it has in the Parkland case — that too much graphic evidence may taint the jury’s verdict, though judges often give prosecutors significant latitude.
“The defense has the right to not have a jury that is overwhelmed,” said Robert M. Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.
Several witnesses have cried on the stand. Others have testified for only a few minutes, with Mr. Satz asking minimal questions.
Anthony Borges, who was 15 at the time of the massacre, testified about being shot five times while he was in the hallway. He unzipped his jacket during his testimony to show jurors scars from the bullet wounds and from 14 subsequent operations.
Some of the testimony has been chilling without being graphic: That two victims who were in the hallway tried to get to safety by knocking on their locked classroom door, but were killed before they could get in. That Mr. Cruz fled the school and went to a Subway and a McDonald’s before being arrested. That on the day before the massacre, he had searched online: “How long does it take for a cop to show up at a school shooting.”
Jurors have also watched surveillance footage of each victim being shot, and cellphone videos that students recorded during the shooting. They have reviewed disturbing photographs of children dead in classrooms. And they have seen autopsy photographs of almost all of the victims, most of whom were shot more than once. One boy was hit with 12 gunshots, including four to the head.
Dr. Iouri Boiko, an associate Broward County medical examiner, said the high-velocity bullets from the AR-15-style rifle caused extensive damage, blowing off body parts and killing victims when their fragments reached internal organs.
“They blow up like a snowstorm,” he said of the bullets, which left large exit wounds. Reporters have viewed the graphic evidence at the end of each day’s hearing in court.
One girl suffered five wounds, including a fatal one to the head. Another girl, shot four times, was missing much of her arm. Dr. Boiko described how a fatal graze wound suffered by a third girl fractured her skull and caused brain damage. The same girl, who was shot nine times, suffered another fatal wound that severed her spinal cord. A third wound blew off part of her shoulder blade.
At least one family walked out of the courtroom during Dr. Boiko’s testimony. Testimony from other medical examiners made some victims’ relatives cry. At one point, a female juror also wiped away tears.
Some families, including the Schentrups, have chosen not to watch the trial at all. Ms. Schentrup said she has read occasional news articles or heard from families in attendance.
“We don’t have control over what’s going on in the courtroom with the jury,” she said. “They’ll make the decision that they make. I feel like I understand what happened that day, and I don’t need to relive it.”
Mr. Schentrup said he would find the trial traumatizing. He and his parents prefer to remember Carmen, who was hitting her stride as a young woman and wanted to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
“Healing, for me, is not something that will happen based upon a verdict at the end of the trial,” he said.
“When I was about 11 years old, we had an American boy stay with us for a week, an exchange student,” she recalled. “And my mother told him, just make your own sandwich like you do in America. Instead of putting one sausage on his bread, he put on five. My mother was too polite to say anything to him, but to me she said in Dutch, ‘We will never eat like that in this house.’”
The Great Read
More fascinating tales you can’t help reading all the way to the end.
At school, Ms. Verkoelen learned from friends that the American children in their homes all ate the same way. They were stunned and a little jealous. At the time, it was said in the Netherlands that putting both butter and cheese on your bread was “the devil’s sandwich.” Choose one, went the thinking. You don’t need both.
Building the earth’s biggest sailing yacht and taking apart a city’s beloved landmark? That’s the devil’s all-you-can-eat buffet.
The streak of austerity in Dutch culture can be traced to Calvinism, say residents, the most popular religious branch of Protestantism here for hundreds of years. It emphasizes virtues like self-discipline, frugality and conscientiousness. Polls suggest that most people in the Netherlands today are not churchgoers, but the norms are embedded, as evidenced by Dutch attitudes toward wealth.
“Calvin teaches that you’re given stewardship over your money, that you have a responsibility to take care of it, which means giving lots of it away, being generous to others,” said James Kennedy, a professor of modern Dutch history at Utrecht University. “Work is a divine calling for which you will be held accountable. It’s considered bad for society and bad for your soul if you spend in ostentatious ways.”
There are billionaires in the Netherlands and a huge pay gap between chief executives and employees. Statista, a research firm, reported that for every dollar earned by an average worker, C.E.O.s earned $171. (The figure is $265 in the United States, the widest gap of any country.) The difference is that the rich in the Netherlands don’t flaunt it, just as the powerful don’t highlight their cachet. The Dutch once ran one of the world’s largest empires but there’s a certain pride here that the prime minister of the country rides a bicycle to pay visits to the king — yes, the Netherlands has a royal family, which is also relatively low-key — and locks the bicycle outside the palace.
No boom can last forever, even for the technology industry’s most affluent companies. Investors punished the biggest tech companies earlier this year, erasing $2 trillion in market value over fears the industry would falter in the face of rising inflation and a slowing economy.
But this week, as the United States reported that economic output fell for the second straight quarter, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon and Apple posted sales and profits that showed their businesses have the dominance and diversity to defy the economic woes hurting smaller companies.
Microsoft and Amazon proved that their lucrative cloud businesses were continuing to expand even as the economy cools. Alphabet’s subsidiary, Google, demonstrated that search advertisements remained in demand among travel companies and retailers. And Apple papered over a downturn in its device business by increasing its sales of apps and subscription services.
even as Alphabet and Microsoft fell short of Wall Street’s expectations.
The results made clear that the companies are not immune to problems such as supply-chain disruptions, rising costs and shifts in customer spending. But their giant businesses are not as vulnerable to the various challenges sweeping across the economy as smaller companies like Twitter and Snap, the owner of Snapchat.
During calls with analysts, the companies’ chief executives cautioned investors about the months ahead, using words like “challenges” and “uncertainty.” Concerns about the economy are leading some of them, including Alphabet, to slow the pace of hiring and take other precautions, but none have said they plan to begin making layoffs.
Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, was an outlier among the biggest tech companies, reporting its first decline in quarterly revenue since going public a decade ago. Its woes were an outgrowth of rising competition from TikTok, which has sapped it of users and advertisers, and challenges from privacy changes on iPhones implemented by Apple.
cut about 10 percent of its staff. Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, said this year would be “a transition year in which e-commerce is largely reset” to the growth levels it recorded before Covid-19.
Apple’s biggest obstacle came from its dependency on China to manufacture most of its devices. In April, the company said it would lose about $4 billion in sales because of factory shutdowns in Shanghai, where it manufactures iPads and Macs. But it still managed to increase its sales of iPhones in the period by 3 percent and set a quarterly record for the number of people who traded Android smartphones for iPhones.
Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, said that Apple saw “a cocktail of headwinds,” including the supply constraints, the strengthening dollar that increased device prices overseas and the slowing global economy.
“When you think about the number of challenges in the quarter, we feel really good about the growth that we put up,” Mr. Cook said. He added that the company would invest through a downturn, but be “deliberate in doing so in recognition of the realities of the environment.”