Jerusalem, Dick Enberg, ‘Jumanji’: Your Friday Briefing

Calling the vote “null and void,” the U.S. ambassador, Nikki Haley, said, “We will remember it when we are called upon once again to make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.”

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At the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday. President Trump has threatened to withhold American aid from countries that voted for the resolution. Credit Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency

Draining the E.P.A.

More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, keeping the administration on track for its goal of cutting about 20 percent of the agency’s work force.

The departures reflect poor morale at the E.P.A., which Republicans have criticized as bloated and guilty of regulatory overreach.

An analysis by ProPublica and The Times found that more than 200 scientists have left, as have 96 specialists who investigate and analyze pollution levels.

Jakarta’s choice: Redevelop or drown

• Indonesia’s capital, with 30 million residents, is sinking faster than any other big city on the planet.

The main cause: Jakartans are digging illegal wells, draining the underground aquifers on which the city rests. About 40 percent of the city now lies below sea level.

Read the latest in our series of stories about how climate change is challenging the world’s urban centers.

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The pool deck of a high-rise building in Jakarta overlooking the Java Sea, which is rising because of climate change. Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times
The Daily

Special Episode: The Year in Sound

An audio time capsule of 2017. From inauguration to the tax bill — and the hurricanes, shootings and scandals in between.

Audio
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Supporters of Catalan independence in Barcelona, Spain, celebrated a narrow victory in Thursday’s regional elections. The outcome could allow separatist lawmakers to revive their drive to secede. Credit Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

Business

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that accused President Trump of violating the Constitution by continuing to own and profit from his business empire.

Ford apologized to its employees on Thursday for sexual harassment at two Chicago plants, two days after The Times detailed decades of misconduct.

Eric Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

Also departing: John Schnatter, the chief executive of Papa John’s, who blamed the N.F.L.’s handling of the controversy over the national anthem for a decline in pizza sales.

• Is Apple slowing down old iPhones? Yes, but it’s complicated.

U.S. stocks were up on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

You really do want to know how the sausage (salami) gets made.

If you’re not done shopping, here are some last-minute gift ideas.

Recipe of the day: Russian honey cake is worth the time.

Noteworthy

Women of color fight back

In today’s 360 video, a feminist collective holds a self-defense workshop in the Bronx.

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Women of Color Fight Back

Sister Diaspora for Liberation, a feminist collective, hosted a self-defense workshop in the Bronx for and by women of color. The class worked to create safe space through sparring, meditation and private dialogue.

By YOUSUR AL-HLOU, GUGLIELMO MATTIOLI and NEETI UPADHYE on Publish Date December 22, 2017. Photo by Lourdes Carrasco for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung.. Watch in Times Video »

Partisan writing you shouldn’t miss

Writers from across the political spectrum discuss the passage of the Republican tax plan.

In memoriam

Dick Enberg was a veteran sportscaster whose signature expression of “Oh, my!” punctuated Super Bowls, Olympics and Wimbledon tournaments. He was 82.

Janet Elder ran the administrative side of the Times newsroom, but she also had an unofficial role as chief counselor and sympathetic ear to the rest of the staff. She was 61.

Mr. Claus is good for tourism

Families fly to a town in Lapland each year to see Finland’s “official Santa.” Never mind that it’s 1,600 miles from the North Pole.

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Sit With Santa at the Arctic Circle

Santa Claus Village in Finland attracts half a million visitors a year. Join the elves (postal workers) as they sort through some 700,000 letters to Santa.

By DREW GARDNER, KAITLYN MULLIN and MAUREEN TOWEY on Publish Date December 22, 2016. Photo by Drew Gardner for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung. . Watch in Times Video »

Ready for the weekend

At the movies, our critics reviewed a crop of holiday releases, including the “Jumanji” remake, “Pitch Perfect 3” and “The Greatest Showman,” about the life of P.T. Barnum. (Also, Steven Spielberg’s take on our friends at “The Post.”)

Here are 12 small pleasures from the arts this year and 10 new books.

We spoke to the creators of “Peaky Blinders,” the cult British hit, and suggest TV options based on how much time you have.

Finally, if you’re in New York City, see these five great art exhibitions before they close.

The week in good news

Here are seven great things The Times wrote about.

Best of late-night TV

Disputing President Trump’s assertion that the Republican tax overhaul “essentially repealed Obamacare,” Seth Meyers said: “But I say we let him think he’s repealed Obamacare so he stops trying. In fact, I think this could work with all of his promises.”

Quotation of the day

“The holiday windows are considered a gift to the city.”

Tiffany Bourre, a spokeswoman for Hudson’s Bay, referring to the seasonal displays in New York City for two subsidiaries, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Back Story

President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel brought to mind a similarly momentous announcement more than a century ago.

In December 1911, King George V of Britain announced that India’s capital would be moved from the city then known as Calcutta to Delhi.

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The contested holy city of Jerusalem. Credit Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

For 24 hours, The Times reported, the British news media “was so astonished as to be unable to comment.” The British officials then ruling in India had proposed the move because Delhi was more central and because of growing opposition in Calcutta to the Crown’s rule, or Raj.

Countries change their capitals to signal a fresh start or to move government away from economic hubs — with varying success.

Myanmar, for example, built a new capital that replaced Yangon in 2005. But the city, Naypyidaw, is eerily quiet, and most embassies have stayed put.

Similarly, Dodoma has been Tanzania’s seat of Parliament since 1996, but the rest of the government has been slow to move there from Dar es Salaam.

Other countries whose capital relocations can trip up even the biggest geography buffs include Brazil (Brasília, not Rio de Janeiro, since 1960), Kazakhstan (Astana, not Almaty, since 1997), Nigeria (Abuja, not Lagos, since 1991) and Turkey (Ankara, not Istanbul, since 1923).

Jennifer Jett contributed reporting.

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There will be no Morning Briefing on Monday because of the holiday. Merry Christmas!

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