Wildfires, Puerto Rico, Star Wars: Your Friday Evening Briefing


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Zach Gibson for The New York Times

3. What does it tell us that Senator Al Franken’s own party pushed for him to step down? We discussed that question on “The Daily.”

And here’s some of the best writing from the right and left about Mr. Franken’s resignation.

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Jerilee Bennett/Gazette, via Associated Press

4. The Justice Department appears to be laying the groundwork for an investigation into abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.

We got a copy of a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee requesting documents about fetal tissue research. That would pick up where several Republican-led inquiries in Congress had left off last year.

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Christie Hemm Klok for The New York Times

5. The latest jobs report showed the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, the lowest since 2000, as the nation added to payrolls for the 86th consecutive month. The data also indicated that the holiday shopping season is off to a solid start. Above, shoppers in San Francisco.

Economists warn that with unemployment this low, the tax-cut bill could cause the economy to overheat, pushing up inflation and forcing policymakers to raise interest rates.

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Eduardo Soteras/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

6. At least 12 U.N. peacekeepers, all from Tanzania, were killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in one of the deadliest assaults on the organization’s forces.

Five Congolese soldiers also died in the attack, on a U.N. base in North Kivu, above. The authorities believe it was carried out by an Islamist militant group with origins in neighboring Uganda.

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Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

7. The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram is notorious for its use of rape. But women who flee to government forces are sometimes no better off.

Our West Africa bureau chief, Dionne Searcey, met young girls who told her they were raped repeatedly by Nigerian soldiers in refugee camps. “I felt it would continue forever,” a 14-year-old said of the abuse.

President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged the problem, but human rights groups say the government has done too little to stop it.

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Altaf Qadri/Associated Press

8. Is India’s government making its epic air pollution even worse?

The air in New Delhi this week contained 22 times the level of hazardous particles that the World Health Organization considers acceptable.

While it’s always bad at the start of winter, the smog is reaching crisis levels this year. And environmentalists charge that the pro-business policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are contributing to the problem.

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Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

9. We spoke to the cast of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the eighth installment in the science-fiction saga that George Lucas started in 1977. The chat felt like a high school graduation — or its after party.

The film, written and directed by Rian Johnson, opens on Dec. 15. Here’s the trailer.

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Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

10. Finally, sometimes it seems as if we’re living under a constant barrage of heavy news. But it isn’t all bad out there, and we’re trying something new to remember that.

Our “Good News” roundup aims to send you into the weekend with a smile, or at least a lighter heart. Featured this week: a SpongeBob SquarePants musical, a medical breakthrough (seen above: a baby born from a transplanted uterus) and some important news about hugs.

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.

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