5 Things to Know on Dec. 21

A look at the news you need to know this week. Read more in our full morning briefing: http://nyti.ms/1QFAH2h
  1. Obama opens up
    President Obama told @npr that some of the scorn directed at him stemmed from his being the first African-American in the White House. He also said that Donald J. Trump is exploiting the resentment and anxieties of working-class men to lift his campaign. http://nyti.ms/1YrAEvK
  2. An ISIS fighter’s journey
    A double-amputee who defected from Syria’s rebels to ISIS did so for money, power and the Islamic State’s license for viciousness — not the typical inspirations laid out in terrorist propaganda. http://nyti.ms/1RABIJ6
  3. Wrong Miss Universe is (briefly) crowned
    Miss Philippines was crowned Miss Universe, but only after Miss Colombia was accidentally named the winner. Whoops? http://nyti.ms/1J1XYJp
  4. FIFA bars soccer leaders
    Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, two leaders of the world soccer federation, FIFA, were barred from the sport for 8 years today after being found guilty of ethics violations. http://nyti.ms/1YwfVl3
  5. Gay rights in Africa
    Many gay Nigerians say they have been subjected to new levels of harassment and violence since an anti-gay law went into effect last year. U.S. support is being blamed for making gay men and lesbians more visible — and more vulnerable. http://nyti.ms/1m4dqLc