Another major concern for outdoor New Year’s celebrations: the freezing temperatures engulfing the Northeast and Midwest. Some towns are canceling them entirely amid record lows. (And if you’re planning on a polar-bear plunge, maybe just wait a year.)
3. Across the pond, the head of Britain’s National Health Service had a message for partygoers: “N.H.S. doesn’t stand for ‘National Hangover Service.’” They’ve seen a huge jump in people referred to the emergency room on New Year’s due to intoxication.
“It’s frankly selfish when ambulance paramedics and A. & E. nurses have to be diverted to looking after revelers who have overindulged,” he admonished. Above, bottles left out for recycling.
4. At least nine people were killed when gunmen opened fire on a Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo. Such an attack in the capital is unusual. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on the Islamic State. Above, a victim’s funeral.
Separately, the U.S. may withhold $255 million in aid to Pakistan to punish the government for failing to cooperate on counterterrorism operations. A decision could come within weeks.
5. Bombs made on a picturesque island in Italy are being used in the Saudi-led air war on Yemen — and we found them at the scene of civilian deaths there.
Our video investigation offers a rare glimpse into the shadowy global arms trade. We found a large increase in the exports, which human rights groups say violate international law, in the past year.
6. A mile of subway tunnel in Manhattan costs seven times the global average. Why? Start with 200 workers paid $1,000 a day — to do nothing.
We delved into M.T.A. records and interviewed transit and construction experts from around the world for this look at how excessive staffing, little competition and generous contracts dramatically inflate transit construction costs in New York City.
7. Are you getting a big break from the tax bill? Our columnist Ron Lieber says that if you can afford it, you should think about giving it back.
To the economy, that is, not the I.R.S. His suggestions: hire someone, pay an employee or service provider like a cleaner more, buy something that benefits American workers. Or give to causes you believe in.
He started a hashtag on Twitter, #GiveItBack, and he’s asking readers to chime in about their plans.
8. You might wish you had this rodent superpower right about now.
Scientists have discovered a quirk in the proteins of some squirrels and hamsters that helps them behave a bit like cold-blooded animals. It allows them to survive for long periods in the cold, without packing on pounds first.
9. This is what love and sadness look like in five countries, according to their top GIFs.
We looked at data from Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico and the U.S. from Giphy, the largest GIF search engine. There are certain GIFs — Blinking White Guy, for instance — that enjoy great circulation everywhere.
Others seem to take off in particular places, and there are canny cultural adaptations too. One popular Mexican meme takes a clip of Disney’s Hercules presenting a flower to his love interest — and replaces it with Mexican street corn.
10. Finally, want to be happy? Think like an old person.
Nearly three years ago, our reporter started following six New Yorkers over the age of 85, one of the fastest-growing age groups in America.
He discovered lots of wisdom for the young(er) about resilience, making peace and doing what brings you joy. Above, Ping Wong, who in one conversation gave her age variously as 90, 92, 98 and almost 100, with her family.
Happy New Year.
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