The Atlantic Daily: Parting Words

John Kerry had some harsh words for Israel, Donald Trump claimed victory on a jobs outlook that may not last, scientists and civil-rights advocates braced for a conservative administration, and more.

James Lawler Duggan / Reuters

What We’re Following

Middle East Peace: In a speech outlining the U.S. vision for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the U.S. abstention during a vote on the United Nations Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories. Kerry said the U.S. “cannot in good conscience do nothing and say nothing when we see the hope of peace slipping away.” The remarks carry little but symbolic weight given that they come in the last 23 days of President Obama’s administration, and was met with condemnation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called them “unbalanced.”

The Carrier Myth: President-elect Donald Trump claimed an early victory last month when he announced that he convinced air-conditioning company Carrier to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico. But that doesn’t mean the jobs will stay forever, as studies show that automation, not outsourcing, is the biggest driver of low-scale job cuts.

“It’s 2006 All Over Again”: Scientists and advocacy groups worry the progress made in embryonic stem-cell research since federal restrictions were lifted eight years ago might be diminished under the incoming Trump administration, if the president-elect’s more conservative appointees are any indication. Meanwhile, Trump is slated to appoint some 100 judicial seats once in office, which, as Emma Green notes, is “one direct way Trump could influence the many controversial, religion-related cases currently wending their way through the court system.”


A masked security force member participates in a drug raid in Manila, Philippines, on October 7, 2016. For more images of 2016 taken through the lens of photographer Damir Sagolj, click here. (Damir Sagolj / Reuters)

Evening Read

Daniel Engber on the case against sugar:

How might we explain the soaring rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, not to mention lots of other ailments of modernity—asthma, gout, cancer, stroke, hypertension, and maybe even dementia? These conditions tend to show up together, both in populations and in individuals, [investigative journalist Gary] Taubes explains. “The detectives assigned to the case would start from the assumption that there was one prime suspect, one likely perpetrator, because the crimes … are so closely related,” he writes. “We should begin with the simplest possible hypothesis, and only if that can’t explain what we observe should we consider more complicated explanations.” It’s the lone-gunman theory of disease, and sugar once more stands accused.

Keep reading here, as Engber weighs the evidence on either side of the sugar wars.

What Do You Know?

1. ____________ have always been canvases for political commentary and projection, regardless if their manufacturers want them to be.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Though many of them have skills businesses are looking for, an estimated ____________ percent of young adults with autism are unemployed.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. President Obama has invoked his executive power to designate national monuments out of public land ____________ times.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: Sneakers, 58, 29

Reader Response: What You’re Working  With

Last month, as part of a series of interviews with more than 100 American workers, we asked you to tell us about your work: the pivotal moments in your career, the times you’ve succeeded or struggled to make it, what your job has taught you about how to treat people, and more. One man writes:

I was laid off in the dot-com bust. In the time since, I have returned to school, finished a B.A., M.A., and a Ph.D. All to no avail. In that entire time (15 years), I have gotten maybe four interviews. No matter what I do, I cannot find work.

Another reader, a single mom, writes:

I put myself through school—undergrad and graduate school—while raising my daughter. Even with an MFA, the most I’ve ever made in a year was $28,000. I am always living paycheck to paycheck, and that’s with $100,000 of student debt in deferment. I have to rely on food stamps, state health care, and section 8 housing to avoid homelessness. I don’t see how I can possibly “make it” when I’m always trying to stay afloat.

Read more reflections from American workers here, including a school lunch server on struggling to feed her own kids, a construction manager on dealing with frequent layoffs, and a high-school teacher on striking for a living wage.

The Atlantic Daily is written by Yasmeen Serhan and Rosa Inocencio Smith. To contact us, email