What We're Following This Evening

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

How Zika spreads: Brazil reported that two people have contracted the mosquito-borne virus through blood transfusions, the AP reports, a potential first in this outbreak of the virus, which began last May. Earlier this week, the virus was transmitted through sexual contact for the first time in the U.S.

It’s lame-duck season: President Obama will call for a $10 tax on every barrel of oil when he releases his final budget proposal next week. The fee is intended to pay for a long-term infusion of spending on infrastructure. The proposal doesn’t stand a chance in the GOP-controlled Congress. But as Russell explains, it signals a renewed effort to find a way to pay for upgrades to the nation’s deteriorating transportation system that both parties want.

It’s also primary season: Clinton and Sanders participated in the last Democratic debate before next week’s primary in New Hampshire, where Sanders leads Clinton by as many as 30 percentage points, according to several recent polls. Our politics team’s coverage of the event here.

The U.S. voting process: It was quietly changed in Alabama, Kansas, and Georgia by the new executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, who decided that residents in those states can no longer register to vote in federal elections without providing proof of U.S. citizenship, the AP reports. The change was made without public notice or review by other officials at the commission. Recall that last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider allowing two states—Arizona and Kansas—to require evidence of citizenship when people register to vote for federal elections.

This objectively adorable video: Area baby panda and national treasure Bei Bei, aged five months, emerged from his enclosure at the National Zoo for the first time and did what any sensible being would after being cooped up for so long: Climb a tree. Behold:

🐼Look who's stepping outside! #BeiBei ventured outside for the first time today with Mei Xiang. 🐼 #WeSaveSpecies

A video posted by Smithsonian's National Zoo (@smithsonianzoo) on