Holiday Travel, AIDS, Sea Snakes: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

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Credit…Cody Bashore/Arizona Daily Sun, via Associated Press

1. Travelers headed home after Thanksgiving are likely to face flight delays and treacherous roads on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

A winter storm, which had formed as a “bomb cyclone” in the Northwest, is predicted to move into the Northeast on Sunday, bringing with it heavy snow and gusty winds. Some airlines are offering waivers for passengers. The storm brought snow to areas that don’t typically see much accumulation like Flagstaff, Ariz., above.

They were particularly confused by President Trump’s remarks, made during a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, that the U.S. was once again meeting with the Taliban to discuss a deal that called for a cease-fire — something U.S. negotiators had deemed unrealistic.

In other news, out of the region, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq formally submitted his resignation to Parliament. Mr. Mahdi faced increasing pressure to step down after weeks of violent protests over political corruption and Iran’s influence over Iraqi politics.

3. Britain is grappling with the aftermath of another terrorist attack in the heart of London. Two people were killed and at least three were wounded in Friday’s assault.

The Islamic State said the assailant, who was shot and killed by the police, had carried out the knife attack in the name of ISIS.

The police said he was a former prisoner who had been convicted of terrorism offenses in 2012 and was released from prison last year, apparently after agreeing to wear an electronic tag. The attack raised questions about the efficacy of Britain’s prison rehabilitation system and about the attacker’s release, which occurred despite warnings from a judge about the threats he still posed.


4. The House Judiciary Committee will begin a new round of public hearings this week as the impeachment inquiry heads into its next phase. The White House is weighing its options.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, the committee’s chairman, above center, is waiting for a response from President Trump on two queries: whether Mr. Trump’s team will appear before lawmakers at a Dec. 4 hearing, and whether Mr. Trump intends to mount a defense during the committee’s consideration of impeachment articles.

If the latest timeline holds true, the committee could hold a final vote on the articles of impeachment in two weeks, and the entire House could vote on impeachment the week of Dec. 16.

5. Weeks after Jeffrey Epstein died, a mysterious hacker emerged, saying he had video evidence of powerful men abusing women inside Mr. Epstein’s homes. Two lawyers — including the famed litigator David Boies — took the bait.

The man, above, went by the pseudonym Patrick Kessler. But what followed was a story that reveals the extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deploy in an effort to get evidence — real or not — that could help win big settlements.

The shadow character claiming to be an informant led our reporters on a wild chase for Mr. Epstein’s secret files. It’s the latest episode of “The Weekly.”


6. Amazon’s convenience made it a juggernaut. A look at one U.S. city shows how it may now reach into Americans’ daily lives more than any company in history.

We explored its effects on Baltimore, which offers in microcosm the contentious issues that the company’s conduct has raised nationally: the end of brick-and-mortar stores; modestly paid warehouse work with the threat of job automation; an aggressive foray into government procurement; neighborhood surveillance and more.

In other e-commerce news: Online reviews are the internet’s answer to walking into a store, feeling products and talking to salespeople. But how much can consumers trust them?


7. A new strawberry-flavored H.I.V. drug could save the lives of thousands of children each year. It will be priced at $1 a day.

About 80,000 babies and toddlers die of AIDS each year, mostly in Africa, in part because their medicines come in hard pills or bitter syrups that are difficult for small children to take.

The Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla announced a more palatable pediatric formulation called Quadrimune, which comes in flavored granules the size of sugar grains that can be mixed with milk or sprinkled on baby cereal.


8. When scholars in Germany started working on the most comprehensive Latin dictionary ever, they thought it might take 15 or 20 years. That was 125 years ago. They’re up to the letter R.

The Thesaurus Linguae Latinae aims to show every single way anyone ever used a word, from the earliest Latin inscriptions in the sixth century B.C. to around A.D. 600. In the dictionary’s archive in Munich, above, there is a piece of paper for every surviving piece of writing from the classical period.

Researchers now hope to finish in 2050, but that might be optimistic.


9. “The Baie des Citrons is our playground. We are in it almost daily and we know all its nooks.”

Monique Zannier is one of a group of seven women, ages 60 to 75, who snorkel regularly in the Baie des Citrons to help scientists collect data about greater sea snakes in New Caledonia — an island archipelago just over 1,000 miles from the coast of Australia. They’re known as the “fantastic grandmothers.”

And another group of citizen scientists, in Atlanta, acts more like an animal rescue squad: When the endless encroachment of the suburbs means displacing other, wilder residents, committed animal lovers step in to transport animals to safety.


10. And finally, check out some of our Best Weekend Reads.

The owners of a Catskills farm say goodbye after 240 years, a bagel war unites rival kings in Montreal, the modern Black Friday work force is different in the e-commerce era and more.

For more ideas on what to read, watch and eat, may we suggest these 12 new books our editors liked, the latest small-screen recommendations from Watching and five weeknight dishes to try.

Ready to shop? We’ve got your holiday gift list covered.

Have a harmonious week.


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