May 2, 2018

Ancient artifacts smuggled by Hobby Lobby are returning to Iraq

Photo: Moment Mobile ED/Getty Images

Several thousand ancient artifacts — including cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals and clay bullae — that were illegally smuggled into the United States by Hobby Lobby last year under the guise of "tile samples" are on their way back to Iraq, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The backstory: ICE and the Justice Department reached a settlement with the craft retailer last July that included the forfeiture of the artifacts and a $3 million fine. Hobby Lobby has ties to the recently opened Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., donating millions of dollars worth of artifacts to the museum — though the museum claims that none of the forfeited artifacts were meant for its collection.

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Coronavirus hospitalizations keep falling

Data: COVID Tracking Project, Harvard Global Health Institute; Note: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Puerto Rico have not reported hospitalizations consistently. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to decline, particularly in New York and other northeastern states that were among the hardest hit by the virus.

Yes, but: Some states are still recording stagnant or rising amounts of hospitalizations.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Protesters on Tuesday evening by the metal fence recently erected outside the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday night across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day.

The latest: Protesters were out en masse after curfews were in force in areas including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland — one of the cities where there was a late-night flash-point between police and protesters.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).