Monday's Morning Email: Bashar Al-Assad is Here to Stay

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bashar assad


BASHAR AL-ASSAD ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE "Bashar al-Assad's presidency looks likely to outlast Barack Obama's. As the United States has turned its attention to defeating the Islamic State group, it has softened its stance on the Syrian leader. More than four years ago, Obama demanded that Assad leave power. Administration officials later said Assad did not have to step down on 'Day One' of a political transition. Now, they are going further." And The Atlantic asks, did the "devil's endgame work?" [AP]

BRUSSELS ON HIGH TERROR ALERT After more raids, 16 suspects were arrested. However, Salah Abdeslam, a prime suspect in the Paris attacks, has not been found. And here's why the latest attacks show a shift in ISIS targets. [Reuters]

'HOW DEMOGRAPHICS RULE THE WORLD ECONOMY' "Previous generations fretted about the world having too many people. Today’s problem is too few. This reflects two long-established trends: lengthening lifespans and declining fertility. Yet many of the economic consequences are only now apparent. Simply put, companies are running out of workers, customers or both. In either case, economic growth suffers." [WSJ]

THE AMERICAN WHO SURVIVED THE PARIS ATTACKS AND 9/11 Identified just by his first name, Matthew said witnessing the scene in the Bataclan was "1,000 times worse." [Lee Moran, HuffPost]

THE WEEK ALL THE 2016 CANDIDATES LOST THEIR MINDS Seriously, what was last week? [Jason Linkins and Lauren Weber, HuffPost]

PFIZER, ALLERGAN MERGING IN $150 BILLION DEAL The deal "would create the world’s biggest drug maker and move one of the top names in corporate America to a foreign country." [WSJ]

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INSIDE THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS The highlight of the night was when Celine Dion brought the crowd to tears with her Paris tribute. Check out the round-up of the best red carpet looks of the evening, along with the winners. And most important of all -- Kylie Jenner and Tyga clarified those break-up rumors. [HuffPost]

CONGRATS TO SOFIA VERGARA AND JOE MANGANIELLO On their stunning Palm Beach wedding. Check out all the wedding photos, and all the details about that dress. [People]

A LOOK AT ISIS' 'PROPAGANDA MACHINE' "What they described resembles a medieval reality show. Camera crews fan out across the caliphate every day, their ubiquitous presence distorting the events they purportedly document. Battle scenes and public beheadings are so scripted and staged that fighters and executioners often perform multiple takes and read their lines from cue cards." [WaPo]

COULD JELENA BE ON THE WAY BACK? Justin Bieber serenaded Selena Gomez with "My Girl" and the Internet exploded. [HuffPost]

ADELE STUNS ON 'SNL' Although Adele's raw vocals from her SNL performance may be more impressive than the full performance.

AND IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY CELEBRATED FRIENDSGIVING Here's how to thaw a turkey for Thursday. [HuffPost]

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TRUCK DRIVERS CAN OFTEN SPOT SEX TRAFFICKING BEFORE ANYONE ELSE "Sex trafficking remains a largely hidden crime in the U.S., but a fleet of truck drivers across the country are leading the charge in exposing the criminals behind these acts and in freeing victims." [HuffPost]

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REP. ALAN GRAYSON: WHEN AMERICA TURNED AWAY MY GRANDMA "There is a reason why my Mom was born in Canada. Her parents, my grandparents, were refugees from Eastern Europe. And America wouldn't let them in. So they took a right turn, and ended up in Canada." [HuffPost]

'2015 IS NOT 1938' "The faces of the refugees are different. The languages they speak are different. The places and killers from which and from whom they are fleeing are different as well. But the refugees' anguish and despair, their fear and sense of abandonment, are very much the same. " [HuffPost]


~ What the annihilation of Kobane means for Syria's future.

~ Examining the new atmosphere for Syrian refugees that live in Michigan.

~ The Sony hack, a year later.

~ We have the first set photo of "Wonder Woman."

~ A Southwest flight was diverted after "suspicious behavior" by several passengers on board.

~ Live in the Midwest? Bundle up during this blizzard.

~ What happens when you smoke weed while pregnant.

~ Love mac and cheese? Move to the Southeast for the best Thanksgiving sides.

~ Take a look at Marco Rubio's first presidential TV ad.

~ Congrats to Seth Meyer, who is expecting his first child with his wife, Alexi Ashe.

~ What it would look like if you could fit space into the palm of your hand.

~ Passing the bar without going to law school is not shockingly, very very very hard.

~ Team -- there is finally news about your favorite "Walking Dead" character.

~ Where Tom Hanks got his "Forrest Gump" accent.

~ The "Game of Thrones" set, but in gingerbread.

Send tips/quips/quotes/stories/photos/events/scoops to Lauren Weber at lauren.weber@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter @LaurenWeberHP. And like what you're reading? Sign up here to get The Morning Email delivered to you.