• In Syria, our correspondent visited ravaged parts of the city of Homs, now under government control, to explore the enormous costs and politics of reconstruction.
Western governments have a stake in the outcome because reversing the flow of refugees rests partly on their ability to help Syria rebuild.
But the U.S. left talks on a proposed U.N. agreement to improve ways of handling global flows of migrants, describing it as a subversion of American sovereignty.
• Corsican nationalists won about 45 percent of the votes in an election for a newly created local assembly on the French Mediterranean island. A second round of voting will be held Sunday.
Whether or not the French government is ignoring the Corsican movement at its own peril, our correspondent writes, the reaction from Paris has been virtually uniform: nothing.
Meanwhile in Spain, a judge could rule today on whether to release on bail separatist leaders facing charges of rebellion over their efforts to secede.
• In Egypt, our latest documentary profiles Esraa, a young woman who, like many in her generation, wants to make choices about her apartment, her religion and her relationships. That makes her a rebel.
And in Iceland, our correspondent shadowed one of the few men, a Spanish E.U. official, at a summit meeting in Iceland that what was billed as the largest ever gathering of female political leaders.
“The risk of mansplaining is very high,” he said.
• A year has passed since we started offering free European, Australian and Asian editions of our Morning Briefing.
We would love to hear from you about what you like, and how we can do better. Please take our survey.
• Norilsk, the world’s largest producer of palladium, a rare mineral used in cellphones, is Russia’s coldest and most heavily polluted industrial city. Our reporters visited.
• Across the U.S., cities are increasingly facing a brutal shortage of affordable places to live, leading to gentrification and homelessness.
• A deal that could reshape U.S. health care: CVS Health, the drugstore giant, said it had agreed to buy Aetna, one of the country’s biggest health insurers, for about $69 billion.
• Disney resumed talks to buy at least part of 21st Century Fox. The Murdochs, who control Fox, are expected to decide by the end of the year.
• Global car brands and the Chinese authorities alike embrace iFlyTek’s voice recognition know-how, illustrating the dystopian possibilities behind the technology.
In the News
• Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain is in Brussels today trying to unlock Brexit negotiations ahead of a mid-December summit meeting. [Bloomberg]
• In an Op-Ed, the former television host Billy Bush said that the famed 2005 “Access Hollywood” recording of Donald Trump making vulgar comments was real. (Mr. Trump had cast doubt on the recording’s authenticity.) [The New York Times]
• The Metropolitan Opera suspended James Levine, its famed conductor, after three men accused him of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers. [The New York Times]
• A key whistle-blower said that Russian athletes who can establish their innocence should be allowed to compete under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics. [The New York Times]
• Before his suicide at the International Criminal Court, the Croatian war criminal Slobodan Praljak forbade his family to attend the fatal court session. [The New York Times]
• In Turkey, prosecutors ordered the seizure of assets of Reza Zarrab, a U.S. prosecution witness in a Manhattan trial, after his testimony linked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to a scheme to evade Iran sanctions. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Rethink that activity tracker.
• A bonding activity for parents and children that builds joy and character: baking.
• Recipe of the day: Start the week with a stellar farro salad.
• Holiday decorations are a universal language. We explored them in London, Paris, Berlin (above) and New York City.
• What’s behind fashion’s — and many women’s — love of concealing clothes? We took a look.
• Our reporting won a major German award and the country’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, praised us as “a beacon of reason in an age of rampant unreason.”
Voting ends today for the readers’ choice of Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year,” with the final winner announced on Wednesday.
While the selection has been criticized as non-news, it is already getting attention from last year’s recipient, Donald Trump, who was then the U.S. president-elect.
Mr. Trump recently said that Time editors had called to tell him he would “probably” be named again, but that he “took a pass” because “probably” wasn’t good enough. (The magazine said the president was mistaken.)
If it is Mr. Trump, he will be the second person to be named for two consecutive years. The other was Richard Nixon, who was named in 1971 and 1972, when he shared the honor with Henry Kissinger.
The decision is based on impact, rather than good deeds. Previous selections have included Hitler and Stalin.
Most recipients have been white men, starting with the first, the American aviator Charles Lindbergh, in 1927. In 2015, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, became only the fourth woman to be named on her own.
In 2006, the traditional cover photo of the winner was replaced by a reflective panel, honoring “You” and the online contributions of millions of internet users.
Jennifer Jett contributed reporting.
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