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Nation and World

10 things to know, Friday, Dec. 21

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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. Why U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis stepped down

Jim Mattis resigned after clashing with President Donald Trump over the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and after two years of deep disagreements over America's role in the world.

2. Trump’s demand for wall pushes government closer to shutdown

The federal government was careening toward a partial shutdown after Trump's quest for a border wall left Congress without a clear plan to keep the government running.

3. Who called who ‘arrogant and selfish’

China lashed out at the U.S. after it charged two Chinese citizens with stealing trade secrets and other sensitive information from American government agencies and corporations.

4. New allegation filed against Nissan’s Ghosn

Japanese prosecutors added a new allegation of breach of trust against Nissan's former chairman, dashing his hopes for posting bail quickly.

5. After year of the woman, 2020 buzz so far focuses on the men

A year defined by the political power of women is ending with men enjoying much of the attention as Beto O'Rourke, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are emerging as early favorites in the opening phase of the 2020 campaign.

6. Who is being optimistic about North Korean denuclearization

The Trump administration's special envoy for North Korea expressed optimism about the diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear crisis.

7. Toys R Us closure hits Toys for Tots hard

The toy giant's decision to close its stores this year left some huge holes for the annual charity drive to fill.

8. Resorts offer perks for handing over phones

A growing number of hotels are offering perks, like snorkeling tours and s'mores, to guests who manage to give up their phones for a few hours.

9. Albino orangutan returned to jungle

Alba, the world's only known albino orangutan was released into a remote Borneo jungle more than a year after conservation officials found her starving and dehydrated in an Indonesian village.

10. Gymnastics makes moves on free-spirited parkour

The funky street sport that has spread globally from the suburbs of Paris is talked about as a possible new Olympic discipline but is also the focus of a heated custody battle as its popularity and marketing potential grow.

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