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May 9, 2017

If you're heading to Europe this summer, you'll want to pack a good book in your bag, as the Department of Homeland Security could soon ban all electronics bigger than a cell phone from the cabins of transatlantic flights, CBS News reports. The ban is already in place for flights to and from certain regions of the Middle East and North Africa after intelligence reports that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is developing ways to hide explosives in batteries and battery compartments.

Aviation expert Alex Macheras is confident the ban will come into effect "in a few weeks." In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said: "We have not made any decisions on expanding the electronics ban. However, we are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travelers safe."

If the ban is instated, all laptops, tablets, DVD players, and cameras will be required to be stored in checked bags. Jeva Lange

4:21 p.m.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has one word for America's longest running shutdown: stupidity.

The unprecedented shutdown fell into its 32nd day over President Trump's demand for border wall funding and Democrats' refusal to give in. But while there remained no hint of a deal to reopen the government on Tuesday, Warner did introduce the STUPIDITY Act to prevent hypothetical shutdowns in the future.

Under the craftily acronymed act, the federal government would keep running even if legislators and the president fail to agree to a new funding bill by a shutdown deadline. It would simply preserve the previous fiscal year's funding levels but adjust them for inflation. It wouldn't fund the legislative and executive branches, though, "effectively forcing Congress and the White House to come to the negotiating table" without hurting American jobs, Warner's press release says. And if you're wondering what STUPIDITY means, well...

Of course, STUPIDITY does neglect to include a "C" to account for "coming." But STUPIDITCY would just be, well, stupid. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:04 p.m.

Anonymous FBI agents say the partial government shutdown is preventing them from effectively doing their jobs and impeding some ongoing investigations.

In a report released by the FBI Agents Association Tuesday, unnamed agents speak about how lack of funding due to the shutdown has hindered their work. One agent said the shutdown has "eliminated any ability to operate" and that "the fear is our enemies know they can run freely," while another said they can't "protect and serve the American people" unless the government is "re-opened immediately," Politico reports

Due to issues with funding, some interviews, indictments, and grand jury subpoenas have been delayed, the report details. The report says that the FBI's agents, currently working without pay, are operating with "increasingly limited resources" and that "this situation is not sustainable."

The president of the FBI Agents Association, Tom O'Connor, shared a similar perspective upon the release of the report. "The failure to fund the FBI is making it more difficult for us to do our jobs," he said, per CBS News, "to protect the people of our country from criminals and terrorists."

There is currently no end in sight to the partial government shutdown, which has entered its 32nd day. President Trump is continuing to insist on $5.7 billion in border wall funding, a request that Democrats have consistently refused, and he signaled on Twitter Tuesday he's not backing down, writing, "No cave!" Brendan Morrow

3:47 p.m.

Americans' attitudes toward climate change have changed quite dramatically in just a few years, with almost half now seeing it as an immediate threat.

In a poll released Tuesday, 48 percent of Americans said that people in the U.S. are being harmed by climate change "right now," Axios reports. This is an increase of 16 percentage points since that question was asked in March 2015, and an increase of nine points since it was asked in March 2018. Going back even further, in January 2010, only 24 percent of Americans said climate change was currently causing harm.

Americans, according to this poll, no longer simply see climate change as a problem that their kids or their grandkids will have to deal with. Instead, 49 percent said they believe they will be personally harmed by it. Additionally, 72 percent of Americans said climate change is an important issue for them, up from 63 percent last year and 55 percent in 2013. And 69 percent said they're very or somewhat worried about it, up from 52 percent in March 2015.

Overall, 73 percent said that climate change is occurring, compared to 57 percent in 2010, while just 14 percent said it's not occurring. This shift in attitude correspondents with Americans growing more informed on the issue, as 57 percent now acknowledge that most scientists agree climate change is happening, up from 40 percent in March 2015 and 33 percent in 2010.

The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication conducted this poll by surveying 1,114 U.S. adults online from Nov. 28 through Dec. 11. The margin of error is 3 percentage points. Brendan Morrow

3:43 p.m.

The ongoing '"MAGA teen" controversy is about to get even bigger.

Nicholas Sandmann, one of the Covington Catholic High School students seen staring down a Native American protestor in a widely circulated video, is sitting down with the Today show's Savannah Guthrie for a segment airing Wednesday. Fox News' Laura Ingraham also tweeted that a group of Covington students would be meeting with President Trump "as early as tomorrow," though a senior White House official disputed that.

A video, seemingly showing a group of teenagers confronting Marine veteran and Native American advocate Nathan Phillips at the Washington, D.C. March for Life, caused an online firestorm this past weekend. In interviews, Phillips said the boys, wearing Make America Great Again hats, confronted and began mocking him. Sandmann countered that in a statement, and now, it seems Guthrie will ask for more of his side of the story.

President Trump praised the boys in a series of tweets Monday and Tuesday. And while Ingraham claimed they were headed for the White House, CBS News' Fin Gomez reports otherwise.

It all makes for an incredibly confusing and controversial news cycle. And, judging by some inflamed responses to Guthrie's announcement, it's nowhere close to over. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:57 p.m.

It looks like Apple Pay is making money moves — by announcing several new partnerships on Tuesday.

Soon customers will be able to use the mobile payment system in all 1,850 Target stores, along with Taco Bell, Speedway convenience stores, Hy-Vee supermarkets, and Jack in the Box. Apple says the addition of these national retailers mean 74 of the top 100 merchants and 65 percent of all retail locations in the U.S. will support Apple Pay.

Vice President of Internet Services at Apple, Jennifer Bailey, cites the system as the easiest and fastest way to pay in stores, in addition to being more secure than using debit or credit cards. And clearly Target agrees, with its Chief Information Officer Mike McNamara describing the move as an effort to begin "offering guests more ways to conveniently and quickly pay."

Target originally partnered with Best Buy and Walmart in 2012 to create payment systems for each individual retailer called the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), reports The Verge. Walmart is still holding out by sticking with Walmart Pay, but by the looks of it, Apple Pay might get to the company sooner rather than later. Amari Pollard

1:53 p.m.

School is almost back in session in Los Angeles.

Teachers reached a tentative deal with the L.A. Unified School District on Tuesday to end their weeklong strike, the Los Angeles Times reports. The city's board of education will likely approve the deal soon, and the strike will end once United Teachers Los Angeles members vote to ratify the deal as well.

The city's teachers union had been negotiating for higher pay in the face of tough job demands for the past few months, and walked off the job last Monday. Schools were open last week, lightly staffed by administrators and employees, but two-thirds of students didn't come to class, per the Times. They're open Tuesday under similar circumstances, but this deal means teachers could return to work Wednesday.

Union leaders and the school district brokered the deal at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday after an all-night discussion, and announced it during a morning press conference with Superintendent Austin Beutner, union President Alex Caputo-Pearl and Mayor Eric Garcetti. The deal includes a six percent raise for teachers and the beginnings of a plan to shrink class sizes, though not many other details were revealed, the Times says. Read more about what caused the strike at The Week, and more about the deal at the Los Angeles Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

1:47 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is bland, and everyone knows it. But sometimes, McConnell's "blankness" — "like a spy or a pinto bean" — works out in his favor, Charles Homans writes for The New York Times Magazine.

As the chamber's longest-running GOP leader, McConnell has stuck to tradition and learned that running the Senate is about scheduling — or delaying — votes and deliberations. In fact, he calls his "decision not to fill" a Supreme Court vacancy right after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia "the most consequential thing I've ever done," per the Times Magazine. And as former GOP Sen. Slade Gorton puts it, McConnell is "just — there. He's just a fact of life."

At the other end of the spectrum is President Trump. In fact, "it would be hard to find two people by personality, or any inclination, that are more diametrically opposed" than Trump and McConnell, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) tells the Times Magazine. "It is... a safe inference that he knows he is dealing with a child," former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) says of McConnell's interactions with Trump, and yet he's never heard McConnell say a bad word about the president, Ryan adds.

Fellow Republicans — whom McConnell told Homans to interview for his profile — remember McConnell as a policy genius. But retired Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says McConnell "has ruined the Senate," he told the Times Magazine. It's a harsh insult, but one that comes years after McConnell said his "friend" Reid was "going to be remembered as the worst leader here ever." Read more at The New York Times Magazine. Kathryn Krawczyk

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