What We're Following Tuesday Afternoon, 9/1

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

Here’s the latest news:

Defiant county clerk: There was a tense standoff this morning between Kim Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, and two same-sex couples to whom she denied marriage licenses—in defiance of an order from the U.S. Supreme Court. The ACLU of Kentucky says it has filed a contempt motion against Davis.

The pope and abortions: Pope Francis announced he would vest all Catholic priests with the authority to forgive women who have undergone abortions. There are, however, some caveats. Update: More here.

Final flag designs: A New Zealand government panel announced four selections from more than 10,000 submissions for a new national flag. It is, as my colleague Matt Ford notes, an “exciting and slightly dismaying day for vexillology fans around the world.”