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Chris Christie can’t believe that the Paris attackers weren’t Syrian refugees

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) seemingly refused to accept reports that the perpetrators of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris were not Syrian refugees during an interview with CNN on Wednesday.

“I understand that this anti-refugee position is certainly a popular thing to do,” host Jake Tapper told him. “But most of the terrorists here in France appear to be French and Belgian citizens. I know that one of them got into the country embedding himself with refugees, but most of them did not. Most of them were citizens here in Europe and I don’t hear you or any of your fellow presidential candidates calling for European citizens to be banned from entering the United States.”

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“Jake, how do you know that most of the terrorists are from Europe? How do you know that?” Christie shot back. “I mean, I’d love to know how you figured that one out.”

In reality, European Union officials have “figured out” that the attackers were not refugees.

Christie then acknowledged Tapper’s point, but added, “For you to make the blanket conclusion from that that most of the terrorists are folks who are from inside Europe just doesn’t wash with me. The fact is, we need to protect American homeland security first and foremost, and admitting people that the FBI director says cannot be vetted, I don’t care where they’re from.”

The governor was criticized — though not by name — by President Barack Obama earlier in the day during a speech in the Philippines. The president mocked Christies and his fellow GOP candidates, saying, “At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans.”

Christie fired back during his talk with Tapper, accusing Obama of creating the chaos that is forcing the refugees to flee their country.

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“He allowed the situation in Syria to happen,” Christie said. “He hasn’t set up a no-fly zone that could create a safe haven for these refugees to live safely in their own country, rather than having to scatter all across the world. And he’s the one who’s casting aspersions? It’s a joke. And he’s a joke on this issue.”

Watch footage from the interview, as posted online on Wednesday, below.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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Elections 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year's Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."

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Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

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According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

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