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‘Dreamers,’ 7-Eleven, Michelle Williams: Your Thursday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV Jimmy Kimmel celebrated the 2,000th false or misleading claim from the White House, as tracked by The Washington Post. • Quotation of the day “It’s like watching a telenovela. Every day is different. Now we’re just going to the stressful part of the telenovela where you wonder what will happen to the protagonist.” Continue reading the main story — Francis Madi, 28, who arrived in the U.S. from Venezuela in 2003, on the tension she and other “Dreamers” feel as they watch their fate being debated. Back Story In the 1850s, a U.S. Army lieutenant exploring the Grand Canyon made one of history’s less accurate predictions, saying that the area had no financial value and that his party would probably be the last to visit […]

North Korea, Iran, College Football: Your Tuesday Briefing

• Quotation of the day “If you want to catch a cat you have to stay up all night — that’s just the name of the game.” Continue reading the main story — Jennifer Petruska, a resident of Santa Rosa, Calif., and a self-described insomniac, who spends her nights tracking and trapping pet cats who went into hiding during recent wildfires. Back Story We begin today on a high kick. The Rockettes closed their annual holiday season run on Monday, their 85th year at Radio City Music Hall in New York. But their famous kicklines are only a part of the storied history of one of New York’s cultural cornerstones. Photo The Rockettes in 1940. Credit Associated Press Opened on Dec. 27, 1932, Radio City was “the largest temple of entertainment of its kind in the world,” The Times (somewhat breathlessly) proclaimed. […]

Melbourne, Facebook, Winter Solstice: Your Thursday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV Samantha Bee discussed the small group of evangelical Christians who pushed for Jerusalem to be recognized as Israel’s capital. “Of course, Armageddon is the one thing that Trump happens to get done with absolute precision,” she said. • Quotation of the day “This has been a year of extraordinary accomplishment for the Trump administration.” — Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, who has often been at odds with the president, celebrating the passage of the tax overhaul. Back Story This is the time of year the Krampus, a mythical, furry, horned beast, prowls cities and towns in the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, scaring away evil spirits and reminding naughty children that Christmas is around the corner. Continue reading the main story The tradition of the Krampus, a mountain goblin who is an evil counterpart to the good St. Nicholas, has recently enjoyed a revival […]

Roy Moore, Yemen, Amazon: Your Tuesday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV. On “The Late Show,” Billy Bush gave his first televised interview since the presidential election. • Quotation of the day. “Right now, it’s ‘those nutty entomologists.’ But I think this is going to get more and more attention, not just from crazy people with long hair.” — Josef Tumbrinck, a member of the Entomological Society Krefeld in Germany, which recently reported that insect populations there had dropped more than 75 percent in three decades. Back Story The Times headline was unassuming in its brevity: “Claude Monet dies; famous painter.” A week after the French artist died on this day in 1926, we were more effusive, praising Monet as “one of the names in the history of art to which will be attached a single idea, the idea of light.” Photo Claude Monet in an undated photograph, most likely taken in the 1920s […]

Jeff Flake, Xi Jinping, Los Angeles Dodgers: Your Wednesday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV. Seth Meyers was unimpressed by Senator Jeff Flake’s decision to step down: “I’m going to fight for the American people — by quitting my job of fighting for the American people.” • Quotation of the day. “Whatever this miraculous thing is that you’re telling me about, I don’t understand it and I don’t like it.” Continue reading the main story — Vince Passaro, writer and Columbia alumnus, on the unexpected success of the university’s football team. Back Story If you live in an urban area, you’ve probably come across — or been bumped into by — people who walk with their eyes glued to their phones. […]

Harvey Weinstein, Los Angeles Dodgers, the Orionids: Your Friday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV. Offensive words from the president? Not surprising, said Trevor Noah. “We’re offended every day.” Continue reading the main story • Quotation of the day. “A few weeks into training, Lulu began to show signs that she wasn’t interested in detecting explosive odors.” — The Central Intelligence Agency, in a statement explaining why a Labrador retriever failed to make the cut in its explosives detection “puppy class.” Photo A career spent sniffing for bombs was clearly not the life Lulu envisioned for herself. This is fine. Credit Samantha Dubois/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Back Story “When something outrages you,” Stéphane Hessel wrote, “as Nazism did me, that is when you become a militant, strong and engaged.” Born on this day in 1917, Mr. […]

Kirkuk, Jeff Sessions, Somalia: Your Monday Briefing

• Quotation of the day. “I just smiled when I saw this because it was like the Mad Hatter’s tea party — it was my fantasy come to life.” — Kelia Remsen, who attends a weekly pop-up tea party in New York City. Back Story This month, the Trump administration expanded health insurance exemptions for employers, allowing them to deny women coverage for contraception. Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. on this day in 1916, might have had something to say about that. Photo Outside the Sanger Clinic in Brooklyn shortly after it opened in 1916. Credit Social Press Association/Library of Congress, via Associated Press Sanger’s work was driven largely by her experience as a maternity nurse. Abortion was illegal at the time, and she frequently saw young women die after attempting abortions themselves. In 1914, Sanger fled to Europe to avoid a potential 45-year prison term for distributing information on birth control. […]