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Making a conservative mark
• After passing their tax code rewrite final week, Republicans in Congress are specializing in applications for the poor that they are saying are too simply exploited.
The efforts comply with what Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican chief, known as a yr of “extraordinary accomplishment,” together with the opening of oil drilling within the Arctic, the ending of the Inexpensive Care Act’s particular person mandate and quite a few judicial appointments.
“It has been extra chaotic and extra politicized than I would love,” mentioned Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, “however we do have extra accomplishments than I believe we’re typically given credit score for.”
• For his or her half, Democrats plan to contest just about each Republican-held Home seat in 2018, an election yr that’s shaping as much as be a referendum on President Trump.
Skinny line of protection towards ISIS
• In April, the U.S. dropped the biggest bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State cave complicated in Afghanistan as a part of a marketing campaign to destroy the militant group’s native affiliate by yr’s finish.
However as 2017 involves an in depth, the militants are removed from being vanquished, waging assaults which have displaced hundreds.
• Our correspondent visited a district in japanese Afghanistan that demonstrates the rising complexity of the battle, and the daunting job of defeating the Islamic State.
A protracted, unusual journey to Saudi Arabia
• Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon was summoned final month to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the place he was handed a resignation speech and compelled to learn it on TV.
He had turn out to be a pawn in a push by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to rein in Iran’s regional ambitions.
• That is the story of Mr. Hariri’s monthlong journey, as revealed in behind-the-scenes accounts from a dozen officers and associates of Mr. Hariri.
Center-of-the-night thriller in West Texas
• A month after one border patrol agent was killed and one other, who is alleged to haven’t any reminiscence of the occasions, was severely injured, nobody appears to know what occurred.
It was initially considered an assault, maybe by migrants or drug smugglers. However the F.B.I. says it’s doable the boys had been damage unintentionally.
• “If this was an assault, imagine me, as sheriff, I’d be the primary one on the market emphasizing security in our group and with our deputies,” Sheriff Oscar Carrillo mentioned. “However from what I do know and see, that was not the case right here.”
• With sexual harassment dominating the worldwide dialog, enterprise colleges are taking case research from the information.
• As you most likely know, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry subsequent yr. Tour teams, ceramics makers and others are attempting to capitalize.
• Money is perhaps king, however many companies in New York Metropolis don’t care. They’re going cashless.
• Our DealBook columnist, Andrew Ross Sorkin, picks his favourite enterprise books of the yr.
• U.S. markets had been closed for Christmas. Right here’s a snapshot of world markets.
Suggestions, each new and previous, for a extra fulfilling life.
• Take steps to assist your canine this winter.
• In 2018, be happier, safer, more healthy and smarter.
• Observe Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African-American heritage that begins as we speak, with these recipes.
Over the Weekend
• Nikki Haley hopes to make use of America’s monetary leverage to get its method on the U.N.
• A 17-year-old has been charged with homicide after a husband and spouse had been killed of their Virginia dwelling. That they had warned their daughter to not date him due to his racist views.
• Pope Francis used his annual Christmas deal with to warn that the “winds of struggle” and an “outdated mannequin of growth” are taking a toll on humanity and the surroundings.
• Alberto Fujimori, the previous president of Peru who was jailed for human rights abuses, was launched early with a medical pardon, prompting an outcry.
• A field full of manure and addressed to Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, was left at his neighbor’s dwelling in Los Angeles.
• Within the N.F.L., the Philadelphia Eagles clinched the highest N.F.C. playoff seed. Right here’s a roundup of the weekend’s motion.
• “Star Wars: The Final Jedi” remained No. 1 on the North American field workplace.
• Cleaning soap and suds
In as we speak’s 360 video, watch laundry practices world wide.
• repair the subway?
Redesigning stations and modernizing management methods are amongst six adjustments to New York Metropolis’s transit system that specialists advocate.
• In memoriam
Arseny Roginsky was the longtime chief of the Russian rights group Memorial who documented the victims of state persecution. He was 71.
William Agee was a rising company star within the 1970s when he employed a promising worker named Mary Cunningham. Their relationship touched off a nationwide dialogue about office conduct that also reverberates. He was 79.
Don Hogan Charles, a Instances photographer for 4 many years, was acclaimed for his evocative photographs of the civil rights period. He was 79.
• Better of late-night TV
With most exhibits on hiatus, our recaps will return subsequent week.
• Citation of the day
“It’s like a balloon. We squeeze them on this space, and so they’ll attempt to transfer out elsewhere.”
— Gen. John Nicholson Jr., the highest NATO commander in Afghanistan, describing the challenges of combating the Islamic State.
It’s a thriller that endures in Australia.
Fifty years in the past this month, Prime Minister Harold Holt went swimming at a seaside close to Melbourne. Mr. Holt, 59, was undeterred by excessive surf and a minor shoulder harm. He informed mates, “I do know this seaside just like the again of my hand.”
A good friend later mentioned the water round Mr. Holt “appeared to boil” and circumstances appeared to “swamp on him.”
He was by no means seen once more, and his physique was by no means recovered. An inquest in 2005 formally dominated Mr. Holt’s loss of life an unintentional drowning.
However his disappearance spurred a wealth of conspiracy theories, together with that the prime minister had dedicated suicide or been assassinated by the C.I.A. One claimed that Mr. Holt was a spy for China and had faked his loss of life by boarding a Chinese language submarine.
These near Mr. Holt say the sensational nature of his disappearance has overshadowed his legacy. He strengthened Australia’s alliance with the U.S., amongst others, and he’s credited with being the nation’s “first 20th-century prime minister.”
His legacy additionally lives on in one other method: on the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Heart in Melbourne.
Isabella Kwai contributed reporting.
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