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Good morning. As 2020 comes to a close, we have a news quiz to test your knowledge.
It’s been an eventful year, to say the least. David Leonhardt, who usually writes this newsletter, has created a quiz that tests your knowledge of the year’s biggest stories.
The quiz is a beefed-up, 30-question version of the News Quiz that The Times publishes every week. Using words, photographs and a chart, it requires a combination of logic, knowledge and recall to get the answers right. And once you’ve finished, you’ll be able to see how your performance compares with other Times readers who’ve taken it.
“Consider it our small tribute to the late Alex Trebek,” the longtime “Jeopardy!” host who died of cancer last month, David says.
You can take the full quiz here, and we’ve included a few questions for you to try below. The correct answers are at the bottom of this newsletter. Good luck!
1. In the fall, LeBron James won his latest N.B.A. championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. How many N.B.A. titles has James now won?
2. Which U.S. state had voted for the presidential winner every year since 1964, until this year, when it voted for President Trump?
3. Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the Supreme Court in October. Of the 115 Americans who have been sworn in as Supreme Court justices, how many were women? (The answer includes Barrett.)
4. The woman pictured above is a self-help author and spiritual leader who ran for president. What is her name?
5. What children’s show was the single most-watched show on Netflix this year, according to analyses by Forbes and Reelgood?
6. During the early months of the pandemic, which of the following pieces of advice did many public health experts give — and later rescind? Pick one.
(a) Children are at the highest risk and should take precautions.
(b) Hand washing is of little use.
(c) Masks are unnecessary for most people.
(d) Large doses of vitamin C may cause immunity.
7. OK, one more! Name the boy band pictured above.
Thanks for playing! Scroll down to see how many you got right. And if you want more of a challenge, the rest of the questions are here.
THE LATEST NEWS
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, blocked a Democratic attempt to increase direct stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600.
Instead, McConnell said the Senate would “begin the process” of discussing the checks as well as two other issues that Trump has demanded lawmakers address: election security and removing legal protections for social media platforms.
Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia, both Republicans, said they supported the $2,000 payments after their Democratic opponents in next week’s runoff elections criticized them for not seeking bigger checks. Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley and a few other Senate Republicans also said they backed an increase, but most did not.
Argentina legalized abortion. Uruguay, Cuba and Guyana are the only other countries in Latin America that allow abortion on request.
Louisville’s police department will fire two officers involved in the raid that killed Breonna Taylor: Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired the fatal shot, and Detective Joshua Jaynes, who arranged the raid.
Two Cleveland police officers will avoid federal criminal charges over their role in the 2014 killing of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy, the Justice Department said, citing a lack of evidence.
New York City has recorded 447 homicides this year, the most since 2011. “I can’t imagine a darker period,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said, also citing the confluence of the pandemic and protests.
Boeing’s 737 Max plane completed its first commercial U.S. flights, a round-trip between Miami and New York, almost two years after two fatal crashes grounded the jet worldwide.
New dietary guidelines released by the U.S. government go against scientific recommendations to set lower targets for sugar and alcohol consumption.
The Shift: Whether it was helping Americans work from home or organize for racial justice, technology did more for us in 2020 than ever, Kevin Roose, The Times’s technology columnist, argues in his annual Good Tech Awards column.
From Opinion: The Times Opinion writers responded to reader comments that channeled fear, frustration, hope and wisdom.
Lives Lived: Pierre Cardin was a visionary designer who clothed the elite but also transformed the business of fashion. In a career spanning more than 75 years, he remained a futurist, reproducing fashions for ready-to-wear consumption and affixing his brand to an outpouring of products. He died at 98.
Subscriber support helped make Times journalism possible this year. If you’re not already a subscriber, please consider becoming one today.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Our favorite stories
To mark the end of the year, we on The Morning team are sharing some of our favorite 2020 stories from outside The Times:
Covid isn’t just a physical ailment — it can also seep into the brain, casting a fog for months on end. This hilarious, harrowing essay in the London Review of Books from the poet Patricia Lockwood captured the mental toll of the virus better than anything else I read this year. — Tom Wright-Piersanti
“My Three Fathers,” by the writer Ann Patchett in The New Yorker, describes her sister’s wedding, which her mother’s three husbands — Patchett’s dad and two stepdads — all attended. She calls it “the family equivalent of a total solar eclipse.” It’s a true story that reads like a novel. — Claire Moses
One of the most inspiring stories I read this year was The Washington Post’s obituary of Michael Cusack. When he was born, in 1956, doctors told his parents to place him in an institution. They refused, and Cusack ended up helping inspire the creation of the Special Olympics. — David Leonhardt
Joe Biden has been in national politics for almost five decades, and truly revelatory pieces of journalism about him are rare. John Hendrickson’s powerful essay in The Atlantic about Biden’s stutter — and Hendrickson’s own — wasn’t just the single best story about Biden this year; it changed how I think about him. — Ian Prasad Philbrick
When I was growing up in New Jersey, my grandmother had an open-door policy and would often invite strangers to have a meal or join in family celebrations. This article in The Washington Post, about how the jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie celebrated Thanksgiving at a fan’s home, reminded me of that human connection. — David Scull
I have lost count of how many times I have watched “Song of the Sea,” an exquisitely animated film that is equal parts tender and haunting. This New Yorker profile of Cartoon Saloon, the Irish animation studio behind the film, is as enchanting as the movies the studio makes. — Sanam Yar
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
For a twist on a classic, try these peanut-butter-miso cookies.
Making a Monster
In 1981, the Broadway play “Frankenstein” was such a failure that it closed after a single performance. The Times talked to the show’s creators about the flop.
Now Time to Play
The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was trackpad. Today’s puzzle is above — or you can play online if you have a Games subscription.
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Little dog (three letters).
Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — Claire and Ian
The answers to the quiz questions above: 1. four; 2. Ohio; 3. five; 4. Marianne Williamson; 5. “Cocomelon,” an animated children’s series; 6. C, masks; 7. BTS. Thanks for playing!
You can see today’s print front page here.
Today’s episode of “The Daily” is an update on the story of a Black police officer in Flint, Mich. The latest “Popcast” answers listeners’ questions about the year’s biggest stars and curious flops.
You can reach the team that writes The Morning at [email protected].
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