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Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Police officers arrived on college campuses across the U.S., and scores of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who had erected encampments and seized buildings were arrested.

Officers last night ordered protesters to leave their encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles, or face arrest. A stream of students left the encampment after the warning, but hundreds remained inside, putting on helmets, masks and goggles as dozens of officers waited nearby.

The night before, violent clashes erupted when a group of about 200 counterprotesters stormed the encampment, pepper-spraying protesters and trying to demolish barricades. The two groups fought until officers quieted the unrest around 3:30 in the morning.

In New York City, police officers in riot gear arrested demonstrators at Fordham University’s Manhattan campus, the third university in the city, after Columbia and the City College of New York, to face mass arrests in 24 hours.

Voters in England and Wales go to the polls today to elect mayors and local council members, in what will inevitably be seen as a barometer for Britain’s coming general elections. Given the Conservative Party’s dire poll numbers and the sour public mood, storm clouds are already forming.

The question is not whether the Tories will lose seats to the Labour Party — that is a foregone conclusion among pollsters — but whether the losses will exceed expectations. A professor of politics at the London School of Economics suggested that if the Conservatives, who are defending 985 seats in England, can hold their losses to fewer than about 500 seats, the party faithful will probably accept the setback. But steeper losses, he said, could set off a spasm of panic and even put Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s job in jeopardy.

Arizona lawmakers narrowly reversed a ban on abortion that became law a half-century before women could vote.

A bill to repeal the law passed in the Republican-controlled State Senate with the support of every Democratic senator and two Republicans. It now goes to Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, who is expected to sign it on Thursday.

The ban had gathered dust for decades until Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that it could be enforced after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The issue galvanized Democrats and created a rift on the right between anti-abortion activists and Republican politicians who were worried about a political backlash.

In Florida, a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect yesterday.

From the Roman Empire to the Maya civilization, history is filled with social collapses that historians have traditionally studied individually.

But a new study, which used statistical models to analyze 30,000 years of archaeological records that indicated the impact of wars, famine and climate change, found that going through downturns helped societies withstand future shocks. Essentially, the more adversity a society faced, the more resilient it became, though only over vast time scales.

Restorative justice: Inside the education course for soccer’s banned fans.

Saudi Arabia Masters: Tennis Australia expresses its opposition to the proposed January event.

Winner-in-waiting: Lando Norris feels no Formula 1 pressure.

Police officials are investigating what they believe is a vast, coordinated series of thefts of rare 19th-century Russian books — primarily first and early editions of Pushkin — from libraries across Europe. The thieves often replace the books with elaborate replicas and spirit them out of libraries.

Since 2022, more than 170 books valued at more than $2.6 million have vanished from libraries in Germany, Finland, France, Latvia and elsewhere, according to Europol. The University of Warsaw library was hit hardest, with 78 books gone.

The authorities have arrested nine people in connection with the thefts, but who is behind them remains an open question.

P.S. Sui-Lee Wee wrote about her reporting trip to Indonesia, where she met leaders of the “green Islam” movement.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thank you for reading, and see you tomorrow. — Dan

You can reach Dan and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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