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January 12, 2019

French police deployed some 80,000 officers around the country Saturday in response to the ninth straight weekend of "yellow vest" demonstrations protesting high taxes and cost of living in France, the administration of French President Emmanuel Macron, and more.

The police far outnumbered the estimated 32,000 demonstrators who turned out nationwide. Police again used tear gas and water cannons against activists in Paris after a subset of the mostly peaceful protesters reportedly threw stones, bottles, and paint.

Macron has promised a "national conversation" beginning next week to address the yellow vest concerns. Polling shows low expectations for the effectiveness of Macron's initiative and high support for the demonstrations at the far left and far right of France's political spectrum. Bonnie Kristian

8:33 p.m.

On Friday, three men and a juvenile were arrested in connection with an alleged plot to attack a predominately Muslim community in upstate New York, police in Greece, New York, announced Tuesday.

Islamberg is home to about 200 people, and was settled by followers of Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarik Gilani. During a press conference, Greece Police Chief Patrick D. Phelan said a 16-year-old at Greece Odyssey Academy showed a classmate a photo during lunch, and said the person looked "like the next school shooter." Police were tipped off, and during an interview with the teen, learned he was allegedly planning on attacking the Islamberg community, along with three men. At that point, "our investigation took us to this plot that we had no idea about," Phelan said.

Police arrested Brian Colaneri, 20, Vincent Vetromile, 19, Andrew Crysel, 18, and the 16-year-old on Friday. They discovered three improvised explosive devices at the juvenile's home, and through search warrants, found 23 legally owned shotguns and rifles. Phelan said the suspects began planning the attack about a month ago, and on Saturday, the adults were each charged with three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree and one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree. Due to the teenager's age, police did not release any information on his charges. Catherine Garcia

7:39 p.m.

A judge in North Carolina on Tuesday rejected Republican candidate Mark Harris' request to certify the results of the state's disputed 9th congressional district race.

The final tally from the November election has Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. The state's election board said it could not certify the results because it is investigating allegations that a man working on behalf of a firm hired by Harris illegally collected absentee ballots. To make things even more complicated, the election board that launched the investigation was ruled unconstitutional and dissolved, The News Observer reports, and the next board won't be created until Jan. 31 or later.

During the hearing, Wake County Superior Court Paul Ridgeway said "this is an extremely unusual situation, with no board in place, and asking this court to step in and exert extraordinary power in declaring the winner of an election, when that is clearly the purview of another branch of government." Harris and McCready did not attend the hearing, but afterwards, a spokesman for McCready said "the most important thing is that people get the answer they deserve," and he believes "both sides agree that it's important that the people of North Carolina have a voice in Washington." Catherine Garcia

6:41 p.m.

In an affidavit filed as part of her divorce proceedings, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said that in July 2016, she was interviewed to be then-candidate Donald Trump's vice president, but turned down his offer because it "wasn't the right thing for me or my family."

Last August, Ernst announced she was divorcing her husband of 26 years, Gail Ernst. Their divorce was finalized this month, and under Iowa law, the court records were automatically made public. In the affidavit, which was submitted in October, Ernst said her former husband was not only verbally and mentally abusive, but also physically assaulted her when she confronted him about his relationship with their daughter's babysitter, The Des Moines Register reports.

Gail Ernst was "very cruel," the senator said, and often belittled her and didn't want to see her succeed. When describing how she turned down the offer to be vice president, she said she "continued to make sacrifices and not soar out of concern for Gail and our family." Ernst is the first woman elected in Iowa to represent the state in Congress, and has said she'll run for a second term in 2020. Catherine Garcia

5:08 p.m.

Harris Wofford, a lifelong Democrat who worked alongside the leaders of the party, died Monday. He was 92, and died in Washington, D.C. after suffering a fall on Saturday, The Washington Post reports.

Wofford served in World War II, and soon went on to a life of civil rights activism. He was "one of the first white students to graduate from the historically black Howard University Law School," the Post writes, and later marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama. He worked on former President John F. Kennedy's campaign, compelling him to meet with King. That move was credited with pushing black voters to overwhelmingly elect Kennedy, per Philly.com.

Wofford spent years as Kennedy's special assistant for civil rights, then left to help found the Peace Corps. He was president of Bryn Mawr College for eight years, chaired Pennsylvania's Democratic Party, and went on to serve in former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr.'s cabinet. Casey appointed Wofford to the Senate to replace Republican Sen. John Heinz (Pa.), who was killed in an airplane accident in 1991.

In 2008, Wofford introduced then-Sen. Barack Obama before a noteworthy speech on race. And in 2016, he revealed he'd married Matthew Charlton, a man 50 years younger than his 90. Read more about Wofford's life at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

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

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