• President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has been conducting a vigorous purge within his governing party, pledging a “serious renewal.”
Most of those who were pushed out had failed to deliver a yes vote during the April referendum that approved constitutional changes that would give Mr. Erdogan expanded powers if he is re-elected.
(Political rivals suggest that Mr. Erdogan may even be preparing to call early elections in July, if it appears that his popularity is slipping.)
• Pope Francis used his annual Christmas Day address to warn that the “winds of war” and an “outdated model of development” were taking a toll on humanity and the environment.
And 60 years after her first televised Christmas message, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain offered solace to victims of terrorist attacks this year. (Her speech included only a gentle reference to Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle, the American actress.)
• This past week, Ireland was stirred by the story of two men in Dublin, above, who married for tax reasons just before Christmas.
The two close friends may not be lovers, but they make a nice couple.
“If two people can live together and help each other, that is the most important thing in life,” said Matt Murphy, left.
• Workers at Melegatti, the Italian maker of pandoro cakes, have staved off layoffs by urging Italians to eat more of the seasonal “golden bread.”
• Germany has spent $200 billion over the past two decades to promote cleaner sources of electricity. That investment is now having an unexpected impact: Consumers occasionally get paid when electricity prices dip below zero.
• Rupert Murdoch and President Trump have traveled in the same circles since the 1970s, but they became close only recently. Here’s a look at this new friendship of convenience.
• Vice Media built itself from a fringe magazine into a nearly $6 billion global company. But employees describe a workplace that was degrading for women.
• From themed mugs to nightclub tours: Britain’s monarchy can be big money, and tour groups and other companies are already preparing to capitalize on next year’s royal events.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• Germany’s most notorious far-right politician recently declared Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial a “Monument of Shame.” So artists built one to scale right outside his home. [The New York Times]
• In Warsaw, our new bureau chief retraces the roots of the Polish government’s defiance of the European Union. [The New York Times]
• In Ukraine, grenades from its front lines are becoming an increasingly common feature in crimes, including domestic violence. [The New York Times]
• Travelers to Ireland have been carrying white tags on their Christmas journeys to remind people of the women who have to leave the country to get an abortion. [The New York Times]
• The Trump administration praised a cut in the United Nations’ budget and linked its continuing financial support to compliance with U.S. demands. [The New York Times]
• Human rights lawyers in Peru have criticized the pardoning of Alberto Fujimori, the former president who has been imprisoned for rights abuses. [The New York Times]
• Guatemala is the first country to follow President Trump in deciding to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. [The New York Times]
• Today, Liberians will pick a new president in a delayed runoff. Their choices: The former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai. [Bloomberg]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Here are some tips to winterize your dog.
• Learn how to to be happier, safer, healthier and smarter in 2018.
• Celebrate Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African-American heritage that begins today, with these recipes.
• Rimur are Icelandic epic ballad poems. Watch one of Iceland’s most prominent rimur singers perform in our latest 360 video.
• In memoriam: Arseny Roginsky, the Russian human rights leader who oversaw a painstaking campaign to record the names of more than three million victims of Soviet persecution, died at 71; and Don Hogan Charles, the first black photographer to be hired by The New York Times, died at 79.
• At the Vatican Observatory, Brother Guy Consolmagno’s work is to convince the world that faith and science can coexist and complement each other.
• The soccer professionals of FC Barcelona are much in demand throughout the world of soccer, from England to Silicon Valley.
• From an all-gray apartment in Copenhagen to a neo-Classical home in Milan, T Magazine features one-of-a-kind homes this year. Here are our editors’ favorites.
It’s a mystery that still endures in Australia.
Fifty years ago this month, Prime Minister Harold Holt went swimming at a beach near Melbourne. Mr. Holt, 59, was undeterred by high surf and a minor shoulder injury. He told friends, “I know this beach like the back of my hand.”
A friend later said the water around Mr. Holt “appeared to boil” and conditions seemed to “swamp on him.”
He was never seen again, and his body was never recovered.
A police inquiry the next year determined that it was nothing more than an accident. An inquest in 2005 officially ruled Mr. Holt’s death an accidental drowning.
But his disappearance spurred a wealth of conspiracy theories, including that the prime minister had committed suicide or was assassinated by the C.I.A. One even claimed that Mr. Holt was a lifelong spy for China and had faked his death by boarding a Chinese submarine.
Those close to him say the sensational manner of his disappearance has overshadowed his legacy. Mr. Holt strengthened Australia’s alliance with the U.S., among others, and he is credited with being the country’s “first 20th-century prime minister.”
His legacy also lives on in another, if slightly macabre, way: at the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Center in Melbourne.
Isabella Kwai contributed reporting.
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