Republican Party, Ajit Pai, North Korea: Your Friday Evening Briefing


At the event, he sat next to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the F.B.I. director, Christopher Wray, to his right in the photo above, and did not repeat his criticisms.

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3. There he is, Ajit Pai, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, as you’ve never seen him before.

In a video released this week by a conservative website, Mr. Pai made an argument for repealing net neutrality rules in the silliest ways possible. (Not pictured: him dancing the Harlem Shake.)

The agency did, of course, vote to repeal those rules on Thursday. Here’s some of the best writing from across the political spectrum on the vote.

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Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

4. There’s upheaval inside the G.O.P. after Roy Moore’s defeat in Alabama this week.

Establishment Republicans are trying to kneecap Stephen Bannon, above, and dry up his funding. He counters that he’s playing a long game. “Revolutions and civil wars take a long time,” he told us in an interview.

It seemed impossible a year ago, but it now looks like the Democrats could take back the Senate in 2018. Some Democrats argue that Alabama shows why they should direct resources to communities of color to do that.

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Andrew Kelly/Reuters

5. The New York Police Department is looking into allegations of rape against the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. A law enforcement official said that the department was conducting a preliminary investigation and was eager to hear from victims.

Mr. Simmons denies the accusations. And some of the alleged incidents occurred before New York State got rid of its statute of limitations on rape in 2006.

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Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

6. Three days after offering to talk to North Korea “without precondition,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reversed course.

Speaking at a U.N. Security Council meeting, he insisted — as President Trump has all along — that the North must stop its nuclear threats and “earn its way” to negotiations.

The North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, celebrates the “rocket men” building his nuclear missile as national heroes. Here’s what we know about them.

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Jekesai Njikizana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

7. Three weeks after the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe came to an end, Zimbabwe’s new leaders are moving to improve economic relations with the West.

“We call for the unconditional lifting of the political and economic sanctions, which have crippled our national development,” said the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, above.

Opposition parties and human rights groups say that despite Mr. Mnangagwa’s promises of a new Zimbabwe, he has hewed to his predecessor’s strategies.

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Roger Kisby for The New York Times

8. A friendly reminder from Jimmy Kimmel: “Christmas is 10 days away, which means we only get to hear that Mariah Carey song 75,000 more times.”

Our business desk delved into the economics of Christmas celebrations, following one Christmas tree from a farm in Nova Scotia to a cozy living room in Queens. If the U.S. withdraws from Nafta, the price of that tree would probably jump.

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9. On that note, may we present (pun alert) our 2017 Gift Guide, created with our product-review site Wirecutter.

Among the editors’ picks: the photo book “Barbra,” an affordable robot vacuum and a coffee maker that our team crowned No. 1 after hundreds of test cups.

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Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times

10. Finally, back by popular demand: The Week in Good News.

After the column debuted last week, many readers wrote in to express their appreciation. “Such a breath of fresh air to all the chaos going on in the world right now,” one wrote.

This week’s selections: Auntie Caterina, above, who gives free taxi rides to the hospital for children with cancer; a huge opportunity for a young actor in London; and a trip to China’s Florida, complete with sun, sand and retired snowbirds.

Have a great weekend.

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Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

And don’t miss Your Morning Briefing, posted weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern, and Your Weekend Briefing, posted at 6 a.m. Sundays.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

If photographs appear out of order, please download the updated New York Times app from iTunes or Google Play.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

Correction: December 15, 2017

An earlier version of this briefing misstated the size of the tax cut in the bill the Republicans are considering. It is $1.5 trillion, not billion.

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