Here’s what you need to know:
• Nuclear brinkmanship, belligerence and now a book review.
North Korea had high praise for “Fire and Fury,” the tell-all book about the Trump administration’s early days. “Trump is being massively humiliated worldwide,” a commentary in the state news media said.
Mr. Trump has derided the book and has threatened legal action to halt its publication.
Separately, we looked at the case of Ma Xiaohong, who not long ago was the face of China’s trade with North Korea. After the U.S. accused Ms. Ma of helping the North evade sanctions, it is unclear what has become of her.
• In Washington, the House voted against restricting a surveillance program that permits the government to collect, without a warrant, the emails and other communications of foreigners abroad — even when they are talking to Americans.
The vote was a victory for the Trump administration and the intelligence community as a bipartisan push to restrict the surveillance failed. The bill is expected to pass the Senate.
President Trump’s approval rating has fallen across a range of demographic groups, including among those seen as his base, including white voters, evangelical Christians and rural Americans.
• Harper’s, the storied U.S. magazine, was under pressure not to reveal the identity of the creator of a list of men in the media industry accused of sexual harassment. Then the creator came forward.
Moira Donegan said she created the list to allow women in the media to put in writing what many of them had long discussed in private: the names of men to stay away from.
And reports that Mark Wahlberg made $1.5 million more than Michelle Williams for reshooting scenes from “All the Money in the World” have roiled Hollywood’s gender equality debate.
• “This was an attempt to take me away and turn me into a silent statistic,”
That was Taha Siddiqui, above, a reporter and frequent critic of Pakistan’s military, who escaped an attack by a dozen men outside the capital, Islamabad. He escaped. But not everyone has.
It has been open season on journalists in Pakistan for years now. Disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, intimidation — and in the vast majority of cases, no one has ever been brought to justice.
“My worry is that the next time they come for me,” Mr. Siddiqui said, “it could end up in something much worse.”
• Some good environmental news from northern China, where the skies have been an unlikely blue, above.
Pollution in the capital and in 27 other northeastern cities has dropped 33 percent on average, compared with the last three months of 2016. In Beijing, pollution fell 53 percent.
The drop indicated that the government’s antipollution campaign — announced in 2013 but accelerated last year for the Beijing area — has begun to show results.
• In western Indonesia, one of the largest populations of Asian elephants outside India is dwindling away. Along with habitat destruction, poaching is considered a major threat to the species.
Now, wildlife groups are going undercover to help the police track down poachers and some are using unconventional means to save the animals.
• CES 2018: A smart refrigerator and a TV that can be rolled up like a yoga mat are among the highlights, but the real star of this year’s electronics trade show is artificial intelligence.
• President Trump plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos this month. It’s hard to imagine an audience less receptive to his “America First” agenda.
• The Marriott hotel chain apologized to China over a survey that listed Tibet and Taiwan as separate countries. Marriott’s Chinese website and app were shut down for a week over the misstep.
• Using data, female economists have forced a reckoning over the barriers they face in the field.
• U.S. stocks were up. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• Ecuador granted citizenship to Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks co-founder, above, who has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012. An official called the move “another layer of protection.” [The New York Times]
• Egypt ordered a criminal investigation over a Times article about Egyptian intelligence efforts to sway public opinion on the issue of Jerusalem. [The New York Times]
• In Southern California, the death toll from mudslides rose to 17. A dozen people are still missing. [The New York Times]
• The Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, wants to root out corruption and improve governance by bringing in a cadre of younger, better educated Afghan civil servants. But progress is slow. [The New York Times]
• YouTube cut ties with Logan Paul, the internet star who posted a video of a suicide victim in Japan. [ABC News]
• The Thai police arrested an elusive Japanese crime boss after images of his elaborate gang tattoos went viral. [Reuters]
• Dolphins can recognize themselves in a mirror at an earlier age than human children, scientists have learned. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Want to be happy? Think old.
• Before booking a charter airline flight, check its safety record.
• Recipe of the day: Celebrate the end of the week with Sam Sifton’s oven-roasted chicken shawarma.
• With the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, approaching, we looked back at all 21 former sites. Because of climate change, many might not be reliably cold enough by 2050 to host the Winter Games again.
• “Bitter Money,” the latest documentary by the Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing, examines a mass migration to the city of Huzhou during a boom in clothing manufacturing.
• And our Vietnam ’67 series continues with “Three Journeys to Khe Sanh,” in which a retired journalist remembers the famous battlefield.
“Hello. I’m Johnny Cash.”
With those words, Mr. Cash kicked off a concert at a state prison in California that revitalized his music career and fortified his outlaw persona. Recorded 50 years ago on Saturday, “At Folsom Prison” remains a landmark in American music.
Entertaining inmates — while taunting their guards — was tame compared with the other exploits of the Man in Black.
In 1965, Mr. Cash accidentally started a forest fire in Southern California that burned hundreds of acres and decimated a population of endangered condors. (Mr. Cash told a judge, “I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.”) Later in life, he was attacked by an ostrich and almost died.
In a dispute with his label in the 1980s, Mr. Cash released a parody called “Chicken in Black.” He called the track “intentionally atrocious,” but it was the most successful thing he’d done in years. (There’s even a video.)
Mr. Cash, who died in 2003, was a Morse Code expert in the Air Force who eavesdropped on Soviet chatter. He was even an ordained minister, and wrote a novel, “The Man in White,” about the Apostle Paul.
As Mr. Cash told The Times in a 1969 interview, “Ain’t nothin’ too weird for me.”
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