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It's been two months since President Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, paving the way for a bloody Turkish offensive in that region. (See our earlier coverage here.) What's happened since? A guide for the puzzled:

No "end date" for US troops in Syria – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this week that the United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria. Back in October, President Trump pledged to withdraw the roughly 1,000 American troops deployed there. Since then, some American troops have left Syria altogether, while others were redeployed to defend nearby oil fields from ISIS, as well as from Syrian government troops and Russia. Now, there are roughly 600 American troops dispersed around Syria, and the remainder have been deployed in Iraq to stave off a potential ISIS resurgence. It's not clear if any troops have returned to the US. When asked about the chaotic comings and goings of US troops in Syria in recent months, the commander of US Central Command said frankly: there's no "end date" for American troops stationed there.

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The collapse of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria has given rise to a host of new challenges for governments around the world. Turkey has captured thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its offensive in northern Syria, many of whom are foreign nationals who left their home countries to fight with the Islamic State. To date, non-Middle East countries have mostly opposed ISIS fighters returning home, leaving them, and their spouses and children, in legal limbo. Here's a look at where these foreign fighters come from.

Kim Jong-un as Santa – With US nuclear talks stalled, Kim Jong-un has been trying to grab President Trump's attention in recent months by, for example, lobbing more rockets into the Sea of Japan, and today making good on threats to again call Trump a "dotard." But North Korea's supreme leader is also trying out some scary Santa shtick. This week, a North Korean official criticized efforts to restart the nuclear talks and said (ominously) that it's "entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select to get." We ignored his "Epitome of Civilization Village" in our Wednesday edition, but we admit we're curious to see what stunt Kim might dream up next.

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Turkey's government has captured many thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its operations in northern Syria. Many of these prisoners have already been deported to some of the more than 100 countries they come from, and Ankara says it intends to send more. There are also more than 10,000 women and children – family members of ISIS fighters – still living in camps inside Syria.

These facts create a dilemma for the governments of countries where the ISIS detainees are still citizens: Should these terrorist fighters and their families be allowed to return, in many cases to face trial back home? Or should countries refuse to allow them back?

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78: An overwhelming majority of Americans think that divisiveness in US politics is a big problem, with 78 percent of those surveyed saying that national political leaders are responsible for promoting "a mostly destructive public debate," according to a recent Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos poll.

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It's the stuff of real high-powered, honorable diplomacy.

While schmoozing with his chums – including Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and President Emmanuel Macron of France – at a Buckingham Palace reception at the NATO summit in London, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was caught on video referencing President Trump's impromptu news conference earlier in the day: "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor," Trudeau said, oblivious that he's being recorded. President Trump, who has zero tolerance for public mockery, responded as you might expect from the president of the United States: he called Canada's premier "two-faced" and departed the summit early, abandoning a slated press conference.

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In recent years, international forums for accelerating action on climate change have turned into finger pointing exercises about which countries should do the heavy-lifting when it comes to tackling global warming. The US and China are usually deemed the worst culprits because they produce the most carbon dioxide in absolute terms, accounting for a combined 42 percent of global pollution. But population and economy size are two major determinants of a country's carbon footprint. When CO2 emissions are considered on a per-capita basis, for instance, China doesn't even make the top ten. Here's a comparative look at the countries that pollute the most.

This week, delegates from around the world are in Madrid to try – yet again – to hammer out a plan to address climate change. Four years ago, world leaders agreed in Paris to cap and then reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stave off the worst effects of global warming, but they left the details TBD. Today, CO2 levels are still rising, President Donald Trump has begun the process of withdrawing the US from the Paris Accord, and other governments haven't yet agreed on how to get emissions down. Spoiler alert: the meetings in Madrid are unlikely to change that.

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