• Our correspondent visited a district in eastern Afghanistan that demonstrates the increasing complexity of the conflict, and the daunting task of defeating the Islamic State.
A long, strange trip to Saudi Arabia
• Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon was summoned last month to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where he was handed a resignation speech and forced to read it on TV.
He had become a pawn in a battle by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to rein in Iran’s regional ambitions.
• This is the story of Mr. Hariri’s monthlong trip, as revealed in behind-the-scenes accounts from a dozen officials and associates of Mr. Hariri.
Middle-of-the-night mystery in West Texas
• A month after one border patrol agent was killed and another, who is said to have no memory of the events, was severely injured, no one seems to know what happened.
It was initially thought to be an attack, perhaps by migrants or drug smugglers. But the F.B.I. says it’s possible the men were hurt accidentally.
• “If this was an assault, believe me, as sheriff, I’d be the first one out there emphasizing safety in our community and with our deputies,” Sheriff Oscar Carrillo said. “But from what I know and see, that was not the case here.”
“The Daily”: Revisiting Carlos
• Our reporter returns to the story of a man who got caught up in the president’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.
• With sexual harassment dominating the global conversation, business schools are taking case studies from the news.
• As you probably know, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry next year. Tour groups, ceramics makers and others are trying to capitalize.
• Cash might be king, but many businesses in New York City don’t care. They’re going cashless.
• Our DealBook columnist, Andrew Ross Sorkin, picks his favorite business books of the year.
• U.S. markets were closed for Christmas. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Take steps to help your dog this winter.
• In 2018, be happier, safer, healthier and smarter.
• Observe Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African-American heritage that begins today, with these recipes.
Over the Weekend
• Nikki Haley hopes to use America’s financial leverage to get its way at the U.N.
• A 17-year-old has been charged with murder after a husband and wife were killed in their Virginia home. They had warned their daughter not to date him because of his racist views.
• Pope Francis used his annual Christmas address to warn that the “winds of war” and an “outdated model of development” are taking a toll on humanity and the environment.
• Alberto Fujimori, the former president of Peru who was jailed for human rights abuses, was released early with a medical pardon, prompting an outcry.
• A box filled with manure and addressed to Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, was left at his neighbor’s home in Los Angeles.
• In the N.F.L., the Philadelphia Eagles clinched the top N.F.C. playoff seed. Here’s a roundup of the weekend’s action.
• “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” remained No. 1 at the North American box office.
• Soap and suds
In today’s 360 video, watch laundry practices around the world.
• How to fix the subway?
Redesigning stations and modernizing control systems are among six changes to New York City’s transit system that experts recommend.
• In memoriam
Arseny Roginsky was the longtime leader of the Russian rights organization Memorial who documented the victims of state persecution. He was 71.
William Agee was a rising corporate star in the 1970s when he hired a promising employee named Mary Cunningham. Their relationship touched off a national discussion about workplace behavior that still reverberates. He was 79.
Don Hogan Charles, a Times photographer for four decades, was acclaimed for his evocative shots of the civil rights era. He was 79.
• Best of late-night TV
With most shows on hiatus, our recaps will return next week.
• Quotation of the day
“It’s like a balloon. We squeeze them in this area, and they’ll try to move out elsewhere.”
— Gen. John Nicholson Jr., the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, describing the challenges of fighting the Islamic State.
It’s a mystery that endures in Australia.
Fifty years ago this month, Prime Minister Harold Holt went swimming at a beach near Melbourne. Mr. Holt, 59, was undeterred by high surf and a minor shoulder injury. He told friends, “I know this beach like the back of my hand.”
A friend later said the water around Mr. Holt “appeared to boil” and conditions seemed to “swamp on him.”
He was never seen again, and his body was never recovered. An inquest in 2005 officially ruled Mr. Holt’s death an accidental drowning.
But his disappearance spurred a wealth of conspiracy theories, including that the prime minister had committed suicide or was assassinated by the C.I.A. One claimed that Mr. Holt was a spy for China and had faked his death by boarding a Chinese submarine.
Those close to him say the sensational nature of his disappearance has overshadowed his legacy. Mr. Holt strengthened Australia’s alliance with the U.S., among others, and he is credited with being the country’s “first 20th-century prime minister.”
His legacy also lives on in another way: at the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Center in Melbourne.
Isabella Kwai contributed reporting.
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