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November 15, 2018

President Trump is reportedly angry that his aides didn't warn him skipping a Veterans Day memorial at an American military cemetery in France would make him look bad, and he's under fire for his promotion of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "We're learning some interesting stuff about Whitaker's past," including his judicial nomination criteria, as outlined during his 2014 unsuccessful run for a Senate seat in Iowa.

"In the opinion of the current attorney general of the United States, if you're not a Christian, you won't be a good judge," Colbert summarized. "But it's right there in the Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, yada, yada, yada, what would Jesus do?" Whitaker is also apparently "steeped" in time travel and Bigfoot. "Before we go any further, I just want to say that there's serious debate over whether Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional and might obstruct justice," Colbert said, "but tonight, daddy don't give a damn — I want to talk about time travel and Bigfoot man."

This all had to do with the patent marketing company Whitaker worked for (before the FTC shut it down for scamming investors out of $26 million), and Colbert appeared more than happy to run through the details — which, to be fair, are pretty incredible — and tie it all together.

Seth Meyers had some fake facts about Whitaker at Late Night — and they still somehow look tame compared to reality.

Colbert briefly reprised his "Squatch'd" gag during his rundown of Trump's bizarre list of Medal of Freedom recipients, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

5:26 p.m.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may have laid down the law during a contentious meeting with President Trump on Tuesday, but the comments she made after the Oval Office sitdown were even more harsh.

Trump, Pelosi, and Senate Minority Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sparred Tuesday over border walls and government shutdowns, quickly devolving from a rehearsed press conference into a shouting match. Pelosi, though, later characterized it as a "tirade" that spewed directly from the president, CNN's Manu Raju reports.

During the meeting, Trump interrupted Pelosi no less than 15 times in an attempt to prove he wouldn't sign a spending bill with less than $5 billion allocated for his border wall. Democrats have maintained they won't give up more than $1.6 billion.

After attempting to reason with Trump and shutting down a demeaning comment, Pelosi waltzed out of the Oval Office and into some private meetings. In one, Pelosi suggested Trump's insistence on building a wall is "like a manhood thing for him," a Pelosi aide tells CNN. "As if manhood could ever be associated with him," Pelosi reportedly added. Also in Pelosi-isms:

Pelosi, Schumer, and Trump all tussled over the spending bill set to expire Dec. 21. If a new bill isn't passed by then, the government will shut down. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:48 p.m.

At least two people are dead and 11 are injured after a shooter opened fire in Strasbourg, France, French National Police tells NBC News.

The shooting happened near Strasbourg's Christmas market, which was being held under tight security measures after France was rocked by terror attacks in recent years, Reuters reports. A shooter has been identified as someone on a terrorist watchlist, per NBC News. They were shot by an Operation Sentinel soldier, but are still on the run, per AFP. Witnesses tell Reuters the gunshots lasted about 10 minutes, though it's not clear if all those shots came from the original shooter or police returning fire.

The European Parliament has a location in Strasbourg, which is on France's border with Germany, and a parliament member tells Euronews the building is on lockdown. Around 80 people sheltered in place in a nearby McDonald's, and residents around the market have been told to stay inside. France's counterterrorism prosecutor has already launched an investigation into the attack, per BBC.

More than 130 people died in 2015 when terrorists attacked a concert hall and other spots around Paris. In 2016, a terrorist drove a car into vacationers in Nice, killing more than 80. These past incidents led authorities to check bags before visitors could enter the Strasbourg market and unauthorized vehicles were banned from getting close, Reuters says. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:26 p.m.

A set of treasured Philippine church bells will soon ring where they belong once again.

On Tuesday, the U.S. returned a set of three bells it stole during the Philippine War back in 1901. Filipinos have long called for the bells' return, and America's ambassador to the country says this signals a solidification of the two countries' friendship, The New York Times reports.

The Bells of Balangiga first hung in a Catholic church in the Spanish-colonized Philippines. But the island nation came under U.S. control in 1898, quickly sparking the Philippine-American war. Balangiga was the site of a particularly harsh killing of U.S. troops, and after winning the war, Americans returned to the town to steal the bells and kill thousands of villagers. One bell has since stood at a U.S. Army base in South Korea, and the other two were at a Wyoming Air Force base, per The Associated Press.

Since then, ambassadors and president from both countries worked to get the bells sent back, America's ambassador to the Philippines tells Fox News. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demanded the bells be returned last year, calling them a "symbol of our national heritage." He'll be at a ceremony later this week when the bells are officially reinstalled.

Some American veterans and officials wanted to hold onto the bells as "memorials to American war dead," AP writes. But President Trump's administration, namely Defense Secretary James Mattis, said the move would benefit America's national security and strengthen its relationship with the island country. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:19 p.m.

It looks like White House Chief of Staff John Kelly might stay in the role a bit longer than expected.

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Tuesday that Kelly will remain in the White House until "at least" Jan. 2, reports The Washington Post. President Trump specifically said that Kelly would be leaving by the end of the year, but that was before Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, decided to turn down the job and leave Washington entirely. The New York Times reported that Ayers was Trump's only real choice to replace Kelly and that he had no back-up plan.

When asked whether Kelly might stick around beyond Jan. 2, Conway suggested that's a possibility. "That's up to the president and that's up to the chief of staff, General John Kelly, certainly," she told Fox News. But there will be "a very peaceful and pragmatic transition" to whomever Trump chooses, Conway said. Trump on Tuesday insisted that "many" people want the chief of staff job but said that he's in "no rush" to find his replacement, per The Hill. Brendan Morrow

4:06 p.m.

The oldest known wild bird in the world has laid yet another egg, NPR reports.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross who researchers estimate is at least 68 years old, has laid almost 40 eggs, and she returns to the Midway Atoll refuge to nest year after year. She has mated with another bird, Akeakamai, and laid an egg each year since 2006, later living through a tsunami and flying an estimated total of more than three million miles.

Scientists didn't even know Laysan albatrosses could live past the age of 40 before Wisdom, who was first banded in 1956, the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge says. She has been closely watched by researchers and has taught them quite a bit about her species, per The Guardian, which notes that Laysan albatrosses don't typically breed every year without taking a break, especially not into such advanced age. In that way, she "does seem to be exceptional," one wildlife biologist observed. Brendan Morrow

4:05 p.m.

Selena Quintanilla is coming to Netflix in a scripted series developed and produced by the Quintanilla family. Selena: The Series will be "a coming of age story" about the singer's life, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Quintanilla was born in Texas and became a singer, songwriter, model, actress and fashion designer. She was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy award, which she won for best Mexican/American album in 1994, and ranks as the best-selling female artist in Latin music history.

The singer's life was cut short when she was shot and killed in 1995 at age 23 by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar. Saldívar was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence in jail, per the Reporter.

"Selena will always have a lasting place in music history and we feel great responsibility to do justice to her memory," Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, said in a statement. “With this series, viewers will finally get the full history of Selena, our family, and the impact she has had on all of our lives."

The script will be written and executive produced by Moisés Zamora, along with Campanario Entertainment president Jaime Davila, Rico Martinez, Suzette Quintanilla, Selena's father Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Simran A. Singh.

The Tejano superstar's story was previously told in the 1997 film Selena, with Jennifer Lopez starring in the titular role. There is no word yet on casting or a release date for Selena: The Series. Taylor Watson

2:41 p.m.

President Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) bickered about border funding in an Oval Office meeting that turned supremely awkward. Even more awkward was the 15 times Trump interrupted Pelosi during the Tuesday meeting.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the nation's top two Democrats met to discuss the looming government shutdown. Trump has said he won't sign the bill funding the government next year unless it includes $5 billion in funding for a border wall. Democrats have so far promised Trump only $1.6 billion.

Trump started the meeting with more than five minutes of uninterrupted spinning on the supposed benefits of a border wall. Yet just 20 seconds after he invited Pelosi to speak, Trump jumped in and questioned why she was calling this a "Trump shutdown." Another 10 seconds, another interruption. And the frequency only escalated from there, reaching 15 total interruptions.

The tension came to a head when Trump launched a few more rapid-fire interruptions, and finished by saying "it's not easy for [Pelosi] to talk right now." Pelosi calmly fired back: "Please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting."

Meanwhile, when he asked Schumer to speak, Trump waited 40 seconds before talking over the senator. Schumer just interrupted Trump in return, and the two devolved into something just short of a shouting match. Pence, meanwhile, spent more than 16 minutes without saying a word. Kathryn Krawczyk

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