A "yellow vest" protestor holds a flag near burning debris in France on December 4 2018Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

What We’re Following

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People vs. Macron: Over the past several weeks, France has been in the grips of a grassroots social uprising, in part over a consequential proposed fuel-tax hike, that culminated in violent demonstrations in Paris over the weekend. Notably, it was France’s prime minister—and not French President Emmanuel Macron—who announced concessions to protesters on Tuesday. Rachel Donadio writes on what these events have revealed about smooth-talking Macron’s major weakness.

A Syria Plan: Some in the Trump administration might be eager to avoid what they see as a weakness of U.S. military engagement in Iraq—how withdrawing troops gave way to a vacuum filled by extremist insurgents. But the prominent justification offered for continued military presence? Countering Iran. There are still about 2,000 American soldiers stationed in Syria, and their deployment timeline is looking murky.

Mulling Over Mueller: Washington awaits several filings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team: a sentencing memo for Michael Flynn, and memos on Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. All three men have adopted drastically different legal strategies in response, David Graham writes. Here’s what to expect. For a legal perspective: Mikhaila Fogel and Benjamin Wittes find fault in the metaphor of the domino effect. “The administration is not going to come crashing down in response to any single day’s events.”

Shan Wang


Snapshot

The top news photos of 2018
As we approach the end of 2018, our photo editor, Alan Taylor, picks 25 indelible images from this past year in news. In the photograph above, students evacuate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooter killed 17 students and staff members in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018. (Joe Raedle / Getty)

Evening Read

The television-news industry is nearly incompatible with the needs of working mothers, writes the journalist Julianna Goldman:  

“There’s an unease” among young women correspondents in the NBC Washington bureau who would like to become moms someday, said a producer there who asked not to be identified. “No one wants to be the test case, because it hasn’t been a common concern, and people are so committed to their jobs, they’re worried about being able to juggle it all.” (CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, and CNN did not respond to requests for comment on this story.)

Being a TV-news correspondent is tough for anyone, but it presents structural challenges that are particularly rough on moms. For one, the industry is bound to the nature of news, which is unpredictable, 24/7, and happens everywhere. You’re often racing out of town without much warning. Moms are expected to do their job like it’s their only responsibility, even though they’re also working the mom shift. Covering a forest fire or a mudslide is rarely compatible with being home for back-to-school night.

If you decline an assignment, you may be labeled a problem or deemed not to be a team player.

Read on.


What Do You Know … About Family?

* Study says: Do American dads have, on average, a much stronger or much weaker preference for having sons than moms do for having daughters?

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

* A concrete porch decoration in the shape of this animal is a staple in homes across rural and suburban midwestern America.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: much stronger / goose


Urban Developments

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Gracie McKenzie shares their top stories:

After last weekend’s “yellow vest” demonstrations in Paris left cars burned, shops gutted, and more than 100 people injured, the French government says it will concede to the protesters, suspending plans to raise taxes on gasoline and diesel.

The woman’s restroom lounge is “a curious combination of Victorian culture, class and race divisions, retail marketing, and what men thought women needed when they ventured out in public,” writes Elizabeth Yuko. More on its glamorous, sexist history.

In Brendan Bartholomew’s first year and a half as a San Francisco bus driver, he’s learned a few things. Even if you ride a bus every day, some of them might surprise you.

For more updates like these from the urban world, subscribe to CityLab’s Daily newsletter.


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