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Headlines edition

Friday headlines: Uh, uh, uh, uh

The Kremlin feels like it got a nice return on the half-million spent on defeating Putin's enemy: Hillary Clinton.

“Sharp power” is how authoritarian regimes “coerce and manipulate opinion abroad.”

China's vast surveillance network only needs seven minutes to track down a BBC reporter.

A German father starts a petition to forbid Lego-style Nazi sets from being sold on Amazon.

“A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.” The editors at USA Today aren’t known for hot takes, but they sure do find Trump reprehensible.

"Um" is used as “a deliberate signal,” whereas "uh" is “an unavoidable effect of having processing problems."

One interesting consequence of ride-sharing apps: there's been a significant drop in ambulance usage.

A firefighter died battling Southern California’s Thomas fire—now the state’s fourth-largest, "60 miles long and 40 miles wide.”

How handwarmers work: by making rust inside your glove (the heat is just a byproduct).

Music video: “Capture” by Baloji, a Congolese artist who grew up in Belgium, where he’s exploring his roots and a love for old technology.

One of our favorite annual round-ups, “Notable Performances and Recordings” by Alex Ross is a great guide to the classical music we missed in 2017.

Two "music nerds," who've programmed all of Starbucks' tunes for 20 years, explain how they find new songs.

Ah, the melancholy of vintage Christmas liquor ads.

“I hadn’t accounted for real desire. Now it overtook me like a wave. I had no practice with it, no defense. Not that I tried. I was ecstatic to be in love. I tried to summon the courage to make decisions with my heart.” A fabulous personal essay by pro climber Beth Rodden about divorce and desire—and surviving being kidnapped.