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The Guardian

Pro-Assad forces seize third of east Aleppo in rapid advance: Forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have seized control of up to one-third of rebel-held east Aleppo, meeting little resistance as they stormed northern areas of Syria’s second city leaving tens of thousands of civilians scrambling for ways to escape. The speed of the advance surprised both the Syrian military and its backers as well as those who had vowed to defend opposition-held districts throughout 12 months of near constant bombardment and siege. It also appeared to herald the denouement of the battle for control of a city that has been central to the fate of Syria, a country upended by nearly six years of civil war that has greatly destabilised the region and sparked one of the biggest exoduses of refugees anywhere since the end of the second world war.

The New York Times

Strident Critic of Health Law Is Said to Be Pick to Oversee It: If President-elect Donald J. Trump wanted a cabinet secretary who could help him dismantle and replace President Obama’s health care law, he could not have found anyone more prepared than Representative Tom Price, who has been studying how to accomplish that goal for more than six years. Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon who represents many of the northern suburbs of Atlanta, speaks with the self-assurance of a doctor about to perform another joint-replacement procedure. He knows the task and will proceed with brisk efficiency. Mr. Trump has picked Mr. Price, a six-term Republican congressman, to be secretary of health and human services, according to a transition team official.

The Economist

Another Arab awakening is looming, warns a UN report: IN DECEMBER 2010 Egypt’s cabinet discussed the findings of their National Youth Survey. Only 16% of 18-29-year-olds voted in elections, it showed; just 2% registered for volunteer work. An apathetic generation, concluded the ministers, who returned to twiddling their thumbs. Weeks later, Egypt’s youth spilled onto the streets and toppled President Hosni Mubarak. The UN’s latest Arab Development Report, published on November 29th, shows that few lessons have been learnt. Five years on from the revolts that toppled four Arab leaders, regimes are ruthlessly tough on dissent, but much less attentive to its causes. As states fail, youth identify more with their religion, sect or tribe than their country. In 2002, five Arab states were mired in conflict. Today 11 are. By 2020, predicts the report, almost three out of four Arabs could be “living in countries vulnerable to conflict”.

Financial Times

Brexit will be tougher for UK than for eurozone, warns Draghi: Mario Draghi has warned that Britain, rather than the eurozone, will “first and foremost” feel the pain of Brexit, as he called for clarity over the negotiation process that will govern the UK’s departure from the EU. The European Central Bank president, speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday, said that it was impossible to estimate the full economic impact of Brexit at this stage, but noted that the single market had been “a fundamental asset” for the UK, allowing its banks to make “sizeable savings in terms of capital and liquidity”. Mr Draghi’s intervention comes at a time of intense debate about the impact of Brexit on the British economy between government economists in London and Brexit advocates.

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