Michael FlynnCarolyn Kaster / AP

What We’re Following

Huawei in the World: In a rare and critical moment since the arrest in Canada of Huawei’s chief financial officer, whom the U.S. is accusing of violating American sanctions on Iran, an official from the Chinese telecoms giant is publicly engaging with foreign reporters. Huawei is a key player in China’s quest to become a technology powerhouse, as well as in growing economic and industrial tensions between China and the U.S., given a lack of clarity about the relationship the company may have with the Chinese government. China, of course, is playing a global influence game, including outstripping other countries in financing critical infrastructure projects across the African continent.

Flynn, Interrupted: Michael Flynn, the former prominent campaign surrogate to Donald Trump, is cooperating with multiple investigations, from the Russia probe to a third investigation of unknown nature. The sentencing judge wasn’t moved by a request for leniency, postponing a status hearing on Flynn’s cooperation until March of next year. Did Flynn’s lawyers badly miscalculate the defense strategy? Or was a pardon on their minds? Natasha Bertrand and Madeleine Carlisle look at what we now know (and what we still don’t).

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Disney’s remake machine ramps up once again tomorrow evening with the opening of Mary Poppins Returns, the ambitious follow-up to the 1964 classic, which recasts Emily Blunt as the titular aerodynamic nanny. Though the film is a cheerful sequel, writes Christopher Orr, it echoes the original in ways that read either clever or lazy, depending on how large a spoonful of sugar you’re willing to take it with.

Haley Weiss and Shan Wang


Instagram stars are posting fake sponsored content
Instagram is a feeding ground for people with wildly varying followings jostling to get paid by a brand to promote its stuff. But sponsorship deals beget more sponsorship deals, and now influencer wannabes on the platform are posting fake ads, reports Taylor Lorenz. Confusion ensues. (Image: Shutterstock)

Evening Read

President Trump’s school-safety commission, established following the February Parkland school shooting, released a set of recommendations Tuesday, including one to do away with a federal policy urging schools not to punish minority students at a higher rate than white students:

The commission’s recommendation to roll back the Obama administration’s school-discipline guidance does not come as a surprise. Republicans have decried the policy as government overreach since it was released in 2014. The policy advocated “constructive approaches” to school discipline, such as victim-offender mediation, as opposed to harsher penalties such as suspensions or expulsions.

The Trump administration’s discipline recommendation comes alongside several bipartisan common-sense measures in the report, including encouraging teachers, administrators, and parents to be vigilant about reporting information to the FBI; improving access to school mental-health services and counseling; and implementing best practices to curb cyberbullying. The report also advocates that districts create a “media plan” to disseminate information in the event of a shooting, alongside a suggestion to follow “No Notoriety” guidelines to keep the focus in the aftermath of an incident on the victims rather than on the shooter.

Read on.

What Do You Know … About Family?

1. In a discomfiting scene, the rapper Offset recently interrupted the concert of this artist—his estranged wife—asking for her forgiveness.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Now a popular holiday gift item, these types of blankets have been used as sleep or calming aids for people in the special-needs community since at least 1999.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: Cardi B / weighted blanket

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:

We asked readers to grade America’s cities on two critical, unrelated metrics: tacos and transit. Now we’re sharing the results. For good Mexican food and public transportation, move here.

The tech giant Apple recently revealed a plan for nationwide job expansion and announced that Austin, Texas, will host its new 133-acre campus. Here’s the problem with that decision.

Researchers from Northeastern University have made a visualization that depicts 200 years of granular immigration data as the colorful cross section of a tree that thickens over time. “I wanted to portray the United States like an organism that’s alive and that took a long time to grow,” one says.

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