Here’s what you need to know:
Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and a possible nuclear deal
Before being implicated in the killing of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had been overseeing a deal worth upward of $80 billion to get the U.S. to sell the kingdom designs for nuclear power plants.
There was a hitch: Saudi Arabia insisted on producing its own nuclear fuel, according to U.S. and Saudi officials familiar with the negotiations. That raised concerns that the Saudis could divert their fuel into a covert weapons project — exactly what the U.S. and its allies feared Iran was doing before the 2015 nuclear accord.
Prince Mohammed set off alarms this year by declaring that if Iran “developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”
• Why it matters: The Saudi government has changed its story about what happened to Mr. Khashoggi several times. Can the country be trusted with nuclear fuel and technology?
• Doubling down: President Trump rebuffed the C.I.A. over its conclusion that Prince Mohammed was responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s killing. He said the agency merely had “feelings” on the matter.
Population projection makes demographers uneasy
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau have predicted that white Americans will form less than half the population in 2044.
The presentation of that data has been a concern for Kenneth Prewitt, a former Census Bureau director, who thought the information needed to be handled carefully, to avoid the impression of a zero-sum game that white Americans were losing.
These figures inflame passions on both right and left. For white nationalists, they signify a kind of doomsday clock counting down to the end of racial and cultural dominance. For progressives, they promise inevitable political triumph.
But some researchers question whether the bureau’s projections provide a true picture. At issue, they say, is which people the government counts as white.
• Clinton on Europe: In an interview published Thursday, Hillary Clinton warned the Continent’s leaders that they “need to get a handle on migration” in order to defeat right-wing populism. Her remarks surprised and drew criticism from scholars, immigration advocates and pundits on the left and right.
A test for Democrats
A loophole in New York’s campaign finance law has let corporations create limited liability companies that can give virtually unlimited amounts of money to candidates.
Democrats, in their successful campaign to recapture the State Senate for the first time in a decade, promised to end the practice. But they too, have benefited from such donations.
• Looking to 2020: Bernie Sanders is pondering another presidential run. But he is no longer a singular figure in the party.
• 16 rebels: Meet the Democrats who oppose Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become speaker of the House.
Chinese presence in Pakistan is targeted
At least two police officers were killed in an attempted terrorist attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi on Friday. Officials said that all three attackers were dead.
• The background: The attack was the most significant strike against Chinese interests in Pakistan, which has been a showcase for China’s huge international development program, the Belt and Road Initiative, in years.
Brace yourself for Black Friday
The day after Thanksgiving is when the holiday shopping season begins in earnest. Right now, you might be shivering in the cold, waiting for stores to open. Or you might be nice and cozy, shopping in your PJs. Either way, we’re covering events here.
The outlook: Holiday spending should be strong. But the good cheer might not last for long.
Our holiday gift guide: We have you covered, from books to tech to stocking stuffers.
A respite: This family-owned store in rural Pennsylvania caters to those who feel left behind by online shopping, or choose to opt out. “We don’t do the Black Friday madness,” said Nancy Dunham, 75, who runs Dunham’s department store with her husband and two daughters.
• Facebook acknowledged that it had hired a Washington-based lobbying company to push negative stories about its critics, including the philanthropist George Soros. Facebook fired the company, Definers Public Affairs, last week after a Times investigation.
• The arrest of Carlos Ghosn for alleged financial misconduct comes at an especially bad time for Nissan and Renault, the auto companies he led.
• “Spend the minimum”: The notorious safety record of Lion Air, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, is back in the spotlight after the crash of Flight 610.
• U.S. markets were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.
• The week in good news
A woman in Manhattan is connecting with strangers over grammar problems. It’s one of seven stories that inspired us.
• No news quiz this week
It will return next Friday.
• Ready for the weekend
We review “Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón’s masterful, emotional portrait of a young indigenous woman working as a maid for a middle-class white family in 1970s Mexico City. You can find all of this week’s film reviews here.
• Modern Love column
“What would have happened if I had married this guy? Would I have a house and a dog and live in Larchmont?” Read this week’s Modern Love column.
• Best of late-night
Almost all the hosts are taking Thanksgiving off; “Best of Late Night” will return next week.
• Quotation of the day
“A country that can’t be trusted with a bone saw shouldn’t be trusted with nuclear weapons.”
— Representative Brad Sherman, Democrat of California and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on whether Saudi Arabia should be allowed to make its own nuclear fuel.
• The Times, in other words
They called it Ellis Island West.
Nearly 40,000 immigrants became U.S. citizens in a flurry of ceremonies that culminated this week in 1985.
The new Americans came from Cuba, Mexico, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and more than a hundred other countries. They were sworn in just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Ceremonies were held in shifts in the Los Angeles Convention Center. The two-week sprint accounted for about a sixth of the 240,000 people naturalized that year.
Chief Justice Warren Burger of the Supreme Court led a similar mass naturalization the following year, with thousands taking citizenship oaths in simultaneous ceremonies around the country. They were anchored by a televised event on Ellis Island itself.
Chief Justice Burger emphasized that the “great Lady of Liberty faces not the West, to our land, but out to the sea as a welcome to those who seek our kind of freedom.”
Nadav Gavrielov wrote today’s Back Story.