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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Federal prosecutors accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, of lying to them about his contacts with Trump administration officials and other matters.
After signing a plea agreement in September, Mr. Manafort, above, “stated he had no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the administration,” prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert Mueller, wrote in a memo to a judge.
But, they said, Mr. Manafort concealed information about his contacts with administration officials, telling “multiple discernible lies.”
They also accused him of lying about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian tied to Moscow’s intelligence services, and about a $125,000 transfer of funds.
Mr. Mueller’s team has left open the possibility that it could file new charges for lying against Mr. Manafort. Mr. Manafort’s lawyers have said he believed he was honest during his interviews with them.
Separately, Michael Cohen, who was President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer for more than a decade, should be given a “substantial” prison term of roughly four years, despite his cooperation, federal prosecutors told a judge in New York.
2. William Barr is President Trump’s pick to lead the Justice Department.
Mr. Barr, above, has served as attorney general before, during the first Bush administration, and supports a strong vision of executive powers. If confirmed, he would succeed Jeff Sessions, who was ousted last month, and Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general.
Mr. Trump also announced that Heather Nauert, the chief State Department spokeswoman and a former Fox News anchor, was his choice to be the next ambassador to the U.N., succeeding Nikki Haley. And administration officials said that Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Army chief of staff, was expected to be named the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military position.
In another personnel move, John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, is expected to leave his post in the next few days. It is unclear who would replace him, but Nick Ayers, the vice president’s chief of staff, is seen as a leading candidate.
3. Who is to blame for a botched Special Operations mission in Niger last year that killed four Americans?
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, above, was livid over news reports last month that junior officers were being reprimanded, while the officers directly above them were not.
After further investigation, a senior officer was told he would be reprimanded. Another senior officer’s actions were also under new scrutiny.
And this week, our reporters learned that a more junior officer received word that his reprimand was rescinded.
4. Germany’s Christian Democratic Union chose a successor to Angela Merkel, who led the party for 18 years. Above, Merkel at a party conference in 1991.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the former governor of the western state of Saarland, was voted party chairwoman. She is now the favorite to run for chancellor in Germany’s next election, which is due in 2021 but could come earlier.
Ms. Merkel’s political career, which began in an era of hope after the Berlin Wall came down, is ending at a time of great uncertainty. Our Berlin bureau chief traces her path in photos and assesses her legacy as one shaped by migration and austerity.
Outrage spread quickly among China’s elite after Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the telecom giant Huawei, was arrested. She has been under investigation by the Justice Department for possible violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran, and is being held in Canada.
“If the U.S. makes an example of Huawei, the conservative nationalist forces in China and also the military will be very unhappy,” one expert told us, “and that will make it even more difficult to make compromises with the United States.” Above, at Huawei store in Huaqiang, China.
At a bail hearing in Vancouver, Canadian prosecutors said Ms. Meng might have participated in a scheme to trick American financial institutions into making transactions that violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.
6. Tensions between the U.S. and China are a threat to global action on climate change — precisely at a time when the risks of catastrophe are accelerating, our international climate reporter writes.
Emissions produced by the two countries account for more than 40 percent of the global total. But cooperation on climate change was once a bright spot in their relations, so much so that it propelled the creation of the global Paris Agreement in 2015. Above, a power plant in Beijing.
Then the Trump administration announced a plan to pull out of the pact altogether. Now, as diplomats from around the world are meeting in Poland to hammer out details of the Paris Agreement, momentum has slowed.
Under the Paris deal, every nation volunteered a plan to curtail its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. But many large emitters are not on track to meet their self-imposed targets. We tracked the data.
7. The Lean In movement has a Sheryl Sandberg problem.
Ms. Sandberg’s work as a top Facebook executive has been the subject of damaging headlines, from her slow response to Russian election interference to her team’s attacks on the company’s critics. Some have called on her to resign.
Now, the movement she founded to empower women in the work force is trying to figure out how to distance itself. Above, in Palo Alto, Calif.
“It’s really grown way beyond Sheryl,” the organization’s president told our tech reporter.
8. The rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake lead the list of Grammy nominees. Lamar, above, is nominated for eight awards; Drake for seven.
But all four major categories — record of the year, song of the year, album of the year and best new artist — are dominated by women. Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, H.E.R. and Janelle Monáe are in the running for album of the year. And six out of eight acts up for best new artist are women.
Our pop music team has some strong opinions about who was snubbed and whose nomination was a big surprise. And here’s the full list of nominees.
9. Let’s dance.
Standout actors, including Emma Stone, Julia Roberts (above) and Ethan Hawke, turn ordinary experiences — being packed into a subway car, stuck in a doctor’s office or caught in downpour — into moments of dance for the Times Magazine’s annual Great Performers issue.
10. Finally, this is your periodic reminder that it’s not all bad news out there.
A 9-year-old boy persuaded a Colorado town to lift a century-old ban on snowball throwing. Two friends raised money for those in need, wiping out medical bills for more than a thousand New Yorkers. And new fishing cooperatives are giving Rwandan women a chance to earn their own income.
This is the Week in Good News.
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