What We're Following This Afternoon

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

Hungary closes its borders to migrants: The country has declared a state of emergency in two southern counties, erected a razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia, and says it wants to put up another one along part of its frontier with Romania. The controversial measures are a response to the influx of migrants that has made Hungary the unwilling focus of Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Putin defends Russia’s involvement in Syria: The Russian leader said his country is supporting Bashar al-Assad’s “effort to counter terrorist aggression,” and called on other countries to join the efforts. The U.S. has expressed concern over Russia’s military presence in Syria.

Jeff Bezos aims for the skies: The Amazon CEO said his space-exploration company, Blue Origin, will be flying its orbital-launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Panel unveils Booker short list: The six titles are: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, a Jamaican; Satin Island by Tom McCarthy, a Briton; The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma, a Nigerian; The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Suhota, a Briton; A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, an American; A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, an American. The winner will be announced October 13. Our Culture team is reviewing and revisiting the titles over the next few weeks.