Separately, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, sued the special counsel. He wants a court to narrow the special counsel’s mandate.
3. That wasn’t all of it.
President Trump’s boast on Twitter that he has a “much bigger” and more powerful nuclear button than Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, set off a torrent of concern (and jokes on social media). To be clear, no one has a button. Above, TV news in Seoul.
Meanwhile, the Koreas reopened a telephone hotline to prepare for talks on easing tensions and including the North in the Winter Olympics.
South Korea had been calling the hotline every day for the last two years, but the North never answered. Officials had to resort to using a megaphone to shout across the border for urgent messages.
4. On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, three former homeland security secretaries warned Congress that the “realistic deadline” for legislative action to protect the Dreamers, or undocumented young people brought to the U.S. as children, was closing fast. Above, a rally in support of DACA.
And two Democrats, Doug Jones of Alabama and Tina Smith of Minnesota, were sworn in as senators, leaving the G.O.P. with a 51-49 majority. They replaced Luther Strange and Al Franken.
5. A jury in a federal court in New York convicted a Turkish banker of plotting to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The case against the banker, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who worked in international banking at Halkbank, painted a picture of high-level corruption in Turkey and heightened tensions with the U.S. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even took the matter up with President Trump.
A co-defendant, Reza Zarrab, a wealthy gold trader, had pleaded guilty and became the star prosecution witness. Seven other defendants are still at large.
6. Inside Iran, orchestrated pro-government rallies received copious coverage in state media as the authorities tried to re-establish order after nearly a week of protests over the economy and the suppression of rights.
What set off the protests? Our correspondent in Tehran reports that President Hassan Rouhani’s recent efforts to tap popular resentment, partly by revealing income inequality, may have worked all too well.
7. Russian and Venezuelan officials are hoping virtual currencies can help their countries make an end run around American sanctions.
Both governments, with ambitions to create state-sponsored cryptocurrencies, are looking to take advantage of the promise that Bitcoin introduced: a new kind of financial infrastructure, outside the control of any central authority, particularly the U.S. Above, people waited outside a bank in Caracas.
8. You’ve probably heard by now that New York City’s subway is falling apart.
We’ve been investigating the problems in a series called “System Failure.” In the latest installment, our magazine writer argues that the city must rebuild the subway to survive.
“The subway may no longer be a technological marvel, but it continues to perform a daily magic trick,” he writes. “It brings people together, but it also spreads people out. It is this paradox — these constant expansions and contractions, like a beating heart — that keep the human capital flowing and the city growing.”
9. The ancient bones of a buried child led archaeologists to new insights on how people — among them the ancestors of living Native Americans — first arrived in the Western Hemisphere.
Genetic analysis of the remains, a 11,500-year-old skeleton discovered in Alaska, strongly suggests that North America was settled by a previously unknown people who originated in Siberia.
10. Finally, we talked to Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks about President Trump, the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein case and why they hadn’t worked together until “The Post.”
And the late-night hosts were back from their holiday breaks. Stephen Colbert laid into Mr. Trump for his tweet taking credit for the lack of commercial jet fatalities last year.
“That explains his new campaign slogan, ‘Trump 2020: You got to Tulsa, didn’t ya?’” Mr. Colbert joked.
Have a great night.
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