In a video, we look at how the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports has led to a vicious circle of suffering among civilians there.
• In Berlin, a memorial unveiled on the anniversary of the terrorist attack at a Christmas market honors the 12 people killed when a truck was rammed into a crowded square.
Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged criticism by survivors and victims’ relatives over how the authorities handled the attack and what they saw as a lack of financial compensation for their losses.
Separately, she is set to meet Social Democrats today to draw up a timetable on talks for the formation of a new government.
• They’re not famous. Neither are their bosses. But after years of harassment, blue-collar workers are speaking out.
The Times spoke with female employees at two Ford plants in Chicago, where a culture of abuse persisted decades after the company tried to tackle sexual misconduct. (If you’ve had similar experiences, you can confidentially share your story here.)
In a bellwether change, Microsoft is eliminating forced arbitration agreements to end secrecy over harassment claims.
• It was a big year in news — often big enough to be seen from the sky.
Satellite images and drone photography captured the eclipse, the Women’s March, hurricanes, fires and other pivotal events that marked a tumultuous year.
• China unveiled an ambitious plan to curb climate change by starting a market for emissions credits. The long-awaited move puts the world’s No. 1 polluter in a leading position on the issue as the U.S. retreats.
• Canada is wooing global tech talent as the U.S. further restricts legal immigration.
• The E.U.’s top court is expected to rule today on whether Uber should be regulated as a taxi company, with obligations ranging from licensing to insurance.
• Many snickered a few years ago when the Winklevoss twins used part of a legal settlement from Facebook to buy 1 percent of all the outstanding Bitcoin at the time. Their stockpile is now worth $1.3 billion.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• In Catalonia, opinion polls suggest a close race between supporters and opponents of independence from Spain ahead of Thursday’s regional election. More than 20 percent of voters remain undecided. [Associated Press]
• Russian and Chinese officials criticized President Trump’s new national security doctrine, which described them as “revisionist” powers. [The New York Times]
• RT, the Kremlin-backed news network, was introduced in France this week. Critics say it is part of a disinformation campaign. [The New York Times]
• In Washington, the Senate Intelligence Committee is examining links between the Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. [The New York Times]
• The United States Holocaust Museum reissued its landmark study on Syria’s civil war after critics objected to the original’s lack of support for American military intervention. [The New York Times]
• South Sudan’s military captured a key rebel headquarters, further weakening the fractured insurgent movement amid peace talks. [The New York Times]
• The passenger train that derailed in Washington State on Monday was traveling 50 miles per hour above the speed limit. At least three people were killed and about 100 injured. [The New York Times]
• Cardinal Bernard Law has died at 86. He resigned as archbishop of Boston in 2002 amid the pedophile priest scandal seen in the film “Spotlight.” [The New York Times]
• NASA will choose today from a dozen proposals in its New Frontiers program, including spacecraft to study the moon, Venus, Saturn and comets. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• How to be a better traveler: Here’s what we learned in 2017.
• The best toys and games that teach kids how to code.
• Recipe of the day: Go retro with stuffed mushrooms.
• For decades, robots with cameras have been watching sea creatures eat one another in the deep oceans. The food chain, it turns out, is more of a web.
• We would like your help in reviving At War, our retired blog dedicated to the military. Let us know here what you would like to see in its next iteration.
• Colette, the renowned concept store in Paris, is closing its doors today. Earlier this year, we profiled the two women behind the store and asked some in the fashion industry how Colette changed shopping.
• The chef Yotam Ottolenghi reflects on preparing family breakfasts and dealing with the pressures of parenting. “It does not help to know that others aren’t perfect parents; we still want to become one of them.”
Eighteen years ago today, Portugal handed Macau back to China after ruling it as a colony for 442 years. The move came two years after Britain handed back Hong Kong, making Macau the last European colony in Asia.
Portugal had initially offered to return the territory in the 1970s, but China’s leaders demurred because they feared losing a trading link to the outside world, The Times reported on the eve of the 1999 handover.
“Since then, the Portuguese administration has presided over Macau’s steady deterioration into a disreputable, vaguely sinister gambling destination for weekend wagerers from Hong Kong,” the Times story said.
The territory, which is about 40 miles west of Hong Kong, has a population of roughly 650,000.
A different kind of milestone was reached less than a decade after the handover, when Macau overtook Las Vegas to become the world’s biggest gambling center, with $6.95 billion in annual revenue.
“Where Macau was once derided for its seedy gambling dens and endemic organized crime, it is now being referred to as Asia’s Las Vegas, and not just by the locals,” The Times reported in 2007.
Mike Ives contributed reporting.
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