Trump, North Korea, ‘Star Wars’: Your Friday Evening Briefing

It’s significant that Russia and China joined in the resolution. It could be the last test of whether economic pressure can force North Korea to reverse course on its nuclear program.

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Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

3. More than 700 employees have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, amid plummeting morale.

Trump, North Korea, ‘Star Wars’: Your Friday Evening Briefing
Trump, North Korea, ‘Star Wars’: Your Friday Evening Briefing

Most are not being replaced. More than 200 of them are scientists, creating what some experts say is a worrisome brain drain.

Republicans have long sought to shrink the agency, now led by Scott Pruitt, above. The plan is to cut 3,200 positions total.

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Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images

4. The deadly opioid crisis is getting worse, particularly for black Americans.

New federal data shows that the drug death rate is rising most steeply among black people. Experts say fentanyl in heroin, or on its own, is often the opioid to blame. Above, police activity after a fight at a suspected drug den.

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Credit Tomas Munita for The New York Times

5. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled horrific violence in Myanmar in recent months. It was one of the most rapid mass exoduses in modern history.

This is the story of how they escaped into Bangladesh, told in text, photos and video. And here’s how to help.

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Credit Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

6. Three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, parts of Puerto Rico are still without water, and over a million people remain in the dark.

But many are determined to celebrate Christmas. “I couldn’t allow the pessimism that is everywhere, that is covering us, to also wither the culture, the traditions,” said one woman who attended a parranda, a traditional get-together to sing carols. “We bring our happiness.”

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Credit Peter Prato for The New York Times

7. The narratives of the “Star Wars” universe are created by a small group of diverse writers, something of an outlier in Hollywood.

Its goal is to tell stories that fulfill the expectations of loyal fans — and create meaningful female characters.

Kiri Hart, head of the Lucasfilm story group, above, said it “feels miraculous, and really hopeful, not just for ‘Star Wars,’ but for movies in general.”

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Credit Donal F. Holway/The New York Times

8. Tom Petty, Fats Domino, Della Reese, Mary Tyler Moore. We lost many important artists in 2017.

Here are some of their most notable quotes. “I was going to be famous if it killed me,” Chuck Berry, above at Madison Square Garden in 1971, once said.

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Credit Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress, via Associated Press, top. Erin Kirkland for The New York Times, left. Jack Davison for The New York Times

9. We also introduced a wildly successful new podcast this year: “The Daily.”

This special episode is an audio time capsule of 2017, chronicling the moments from the inauguration to the tax bill — and the hurricanes, attacks and scandals in between.

For more on the year that was, check out our 2017 Year in Review.

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    Credit Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    10. Finally, back by popular demand, and not a moment too soon: The Week in Good News.

    This new feature is meant to send you into the weekend (especially a long one like this one) with a smile, or at least a lighter heart.

    Among the items: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, above, have set a date for their wedding; Neapolitan pizza is one of civilization’s glories; and you’re never too old to dance.

    Have a great weekend.

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