Donald Trump, Laurent Wauquiez, Syria: Your Monday Briefing

Donald Trump, Laurent Wauquiez, Syria: Your Monday Briefing

In neighboring Iraq, the residents of Mosul are pulling together to rebuild the city as the government declared it had ousted ISIS from the country.



Doug Mills/The New York Times

Sixty insiders told our reporters about President Trump’s daily routines: at least four hours of cable news, a dozen Diet Cokes and an iPhone at the ready for Twitter.

They describe a man who “views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously.” For one, he has expressed fear about how many aides, even his own relatives, could be hurt by the investigation into Russian election meddling.

Separately, his U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, said that women who have accused Mr. Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard,” a break from the administration’s assertions that the allegations have no merit and should be dismissed.



Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

• Paris is vying against Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg in seeking to attract the thousands of workers and jobs that financial firms may have to move out of London before Britain leaves the European Union.

France’s main conservative opposition party, the Republicans, elected Laurent Wauquiez, 42, a new leader who is skeptical of Mr. Macron’s plans to strengthen the E.U.

And nationalists in Corsica, seeking more autonomy, swept elections for a new regional assembly. (On a recent visit to the Mediterranean island, our correspondent noted the nationalists’ appeal to younger voters.)



James Yang

• A reminder: Amid the world’s turmoil, there is also plenty of joy, inspiration and reason for hope.

Here are seven fantastic things that happened recently (including research that shows men should hug more) that prove it isn’t all bad out there.



Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

• This week, expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and a key U.S. regulator to repeal net neutrality. (Here’s more on the week ahead in business.)

• Some European telecom providers have already pushed the boundaries of internet protections, offering a glimpse at the future American consumers may face.

• Volkswagen’s chief executive has become the first German auto boss to suggest publicly that the government in Berlin should consider phasing out subsidies for diesel cars.

• In the latest tech newsletter, our columnists debate how sustainable the Bitcoin boom is. (On Sunday, Bitcoin futures started trading.)

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


NTB Scanpix/Reuters

• The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Norway honored the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The group’s leader warned that “our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away.” [The Guardian]

• In the U.S., video footage showing a police officer shooting an unarmed man has renewed calls for reforms in law enforcement. [The New York Times]

• A Senate election in Alabama on Tuesday will test whether voters remain just as willing to shrug off truth-stretching as in last year’s presidential election. [The New York Times]

In Poland, critics fear that Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the governing party, is taking the country in an authoritarian direction. [The New York Times]

• Britain’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, ended a visit to Tehran without a public resolution on the fate of an imprisoned British-Iranian dual citizen. [The New York Times]

• At the Bolshoi in Moscow, “Nureyev” had its premiere in front of a starry crowd that didn’t include its director, who is under house arrest. [The New York Times]

• Chinese spies have tried to infiltrate political and business circles in Europe by using fake LinkedIn profiles, Germany’s intelligence agency has warned. [Associated Press]

• Fierce winter weather left thousands of travelers stranded at Heathrow and other European airports. Expect more rain and snow in much of Europe today. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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


J. David Ake/Associated Press

• That run you went on this morning? Great! But you still need to watch your diet and lifestyle.

• Happy Hanukkah! Here’s how to make the perfect potato latkes.

Start the week deliciously with a batch of homemade fried chicken.



Happy Toast

• There are no audio tracks with the looping image above, but some people really do “hear” it, suggesting that our senses don’t operate the way we assume.

• Pope Francis has suggested an update in the translation of the Lord’s Prayer. It all has to do with “temptation.”

• Some older smokers are turning to vaping. (That may not be a bad idea.)

• A motorized plastic monkey that grasps your finger has turned into a must-have gift of the holiday season, in part because of savvy marketing.

The Golden Globe nominations will be announced today (2:15 p.m. in Berlin and Rome, 8:15 a.m. in New York). Check for live coverage.

Back Story


20th Century Fox

“Greed is good.” Today is the 30th anniversary of the release of the movie “Wall Street.”

Michael Douglas won an Oscar for his role as Gordon Gekko, the ruthless corporate raider who takes a young stockbroker named Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen, under his wing.

The movie was meant as a harsh critique of the excesses of 1980s capitalism — but became wildly popular with actual Wall Street types. (When it came out, our critic suggested that its moralizing was its weak point: “The movie crashes in a heap of platitudes,” Vincent Canby wrote.)

The director, Oliver Stone, said that in a twist, many young people told him it inspired them to go work on Wall Street. Even years later, brokers would tell him, “You’re the man!”

Mr. Stone discussed the film’s legacy in this 2009 Times video. He said it was “misunderstood by some, because it was about a horrible thing that was going on, about how people would worship money at all costs.”

That interview took place as he was preparing to film the sequel, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” released in 2010. Our critic called it “a corrective, a parody and a sly act of auto-homage.”

Karen Zraick contributed reporting.


This briefing was prepared for the European morning and is updated online. Browse past briefings here.

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