Alabama, Emmanuel Macron, Austria: Your Wednesday Briefing

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One country where “fake news” has been invoked is Turkey, which leads the world in the number of journalists jailed in connection with their work. According to a new report, a record number of journalists are imprisoned around the world.

Separately, a statement by the U.S. ambassador to Britain, suggesting Mr. Trump might visit as early as next month, has deepened questions about whether the two countries’ “special relationship” can withstand his tenure.

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Thibault Camus/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

At an international climate conference in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron of France, above center, urged heads of state to commit more funding to the fight against global warming. But the meeting’s accomplishments were limited.

Our international climate correspondent looks at a surprising factor in greenhouse gas emissions: A third of all the food grown on earth is simply wasted.

Separately, Mr. Macron will host Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and other European and African leaders today to bolster an antiterrorism force in the vast and lawless Sahel region of Africa.

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John Wilson/Lucasfilm, via Associated Press

Reviews are out for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which hits theaters this weekend. (Above, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.)

Our critic’s thumb is definitely up. “It has visual wit and a human touch, no small achievement for a seemingly indestructible machine that revved up 40 years ago and shows no signs of sputtering out (ever),” she writes.

If you’ve forgotten who exactly is fighting whom, or don’t know what a porg is, you can brush up here before watching the new film.

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Brian Rea

• We were overwhelmed by the love and feedback we received in the callout last week to readers of this briefing. We read every message and take all to heart, including this one: “What I would like to read about less? Don’t laugh: Trump.”

(You can always reach us at europebriefing@nytimes.com.)

More broadly, here are 11 things we learned from readers’ comments over the last year, including advice on how not to get hit by a truck and how to stop procrastinating.

Business

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• Numerous sites, including Reddit and Kickstarter, posted calls for action to stop a key U.S. regulator’s vote on ending net neutrality. But the giants, like Google and Facebook, stayed out of the fray.

• More on the Bitcoin boom: Indiegogo, the service that helped take crowdfunding mainstream, is now hoping to do the same with initial coin offerings.

• Disney’s deal to swallow most of Rupert Murdoch’s movie and television empire could be completed as soon as Thursday, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News

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Tomas Hulik/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• Tuesday’s explosion at a natural gas facility in Austria left one dead and 18 injured. It raised concerns about tightening energy supplies across Europe. [The New York Times]

• The Pentagon has presented the White House with a plan that envisions at least two more years of combat against Islamist militants in Somalia. [The New York Times]

• U.S. federal prosecutors filed federal terrorism charges against Akayed Ullah, the suspect in the attack on the New York City subway on Monday. [The New York Times]

• Brazil is offering many of its at-risk citizens a pill, free of charge, that drastically reduces the risk of contracting H.I.V. [The New York Times]

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden condemned a string of anti-Semitic episodes in Gothenburg and Malmo, Sweden’s second- and third-largest cities. [The New York Times]

• The European Parliament is voting today on whether phosphates can be used in kebabs amid wider debates on food safety. [Bloomberg]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

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Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

• Recipe of the day: What could make a dark chocolate Bundt cake better? Whiskey.

• There’s a new comeback of the gateway drug theory.

• Follow these steps to get the most out of Twitter.

Noteworthy

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Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

• For years, the Cirque Romanès has delighted the French public with poetic shows that challenge stereotypes about the Roma community: “It’s our way to build bridges between our culture and other cultures.”

• For Catalans, Barcelona’s Modelo prison serves as a reminder of century-old social and political upheaval, and tough detention conditions.

• In our latest 360 video, the British designer Thomas Heatherwick walks us through his bold new stairway-to-nowhere monument in New York, which was prefabricated in Italy.

• Christopher Waltz, the Oscar-winning actor, concentrates on subtle acting in his new production of “Falstaff” for Opera Vlaanderen in Belgium.

Back Story

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Keystone, via Getty Images.

The holiday season involves many traditions. For Britons and millions of others around the world, one of them is Queen Elizabeth II’s annual Christmas Day message.

The speech was first given 85 years ago by King George V, her grandfather. “Distant lands thrill to his ‘God bless you,’ ” The Times reported in 1932.

“Farmers in Brisbane, Australia, listened to it in a Summer heat of 95 degrees in the shade,” a correspondent wrote from London, in apparent awe of the radio technology. “Passengers on Atlantic liners heard it as their ship plowed through Winter storms.”

In 1952, the queen gave her first Christmas message, sitting in the chair used by her father and grandfather, The Times reported. According to the BBC, 100 million people heard the speech.

Five years later, the speech was televised for the first time. (Watch it here.) The change occurred, The Times noted, after the queen was criticized as being too remote and surrounded by “tweedy” courtiers.

“That it is possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us,” she said before her speech in 1957.

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This briefing was prepared for the European morning and is updated online. Browse past briefings here.

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