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109 in custody after Paris May Day violence: police

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French police said 109 people were in custody on Wednesday after violent May Day protests in Paris, correcting an earlier figure of 209 given by Interior Minister Gerard Collomb.

Hooded youths had torched a McDonald’s restaurant and several vehicles after joining the traditional May 1 union-led demonstration for workers’ rights.

Collomb, who gave the wrong figure in a television interview, promised to boost policing at future protests after facing accusations that the government had been caught unaware by 1,200 trouble-makers.

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“For the next demonstrations there will be even more security forces, this time with the intention of totally separating protesters from those who have come to smash things up,” he told France 2 television.

President Emmanuel Macron, on a visit to Sydney, deplored the violence.

“May 1 is Workers’ Day, not the day of the hooligans,” he told a press conference.

“I can only condemn again what has happened, with the greatest firmness,” he said.

Shouting “Rise up, Paris” and “Everyone hates the police”, anti-capitalist protesters in black jackets and face masks had tried to hold up the Paris march and then ran amok along the route.

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They set fire to a McDonald’s restaurant near Austerlitz station, east of the city centre, and torched vehicles at a car dealership.


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Trump aides and GOP lawmakers ‘freaking out’ after being ‘blindsided’ by Gordon Sondland’s testimony

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Allies of President Donald Trump are "freaking out" after the damning testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland, CNN's Jim Acosta reported Wednesday.

The administration had been caught flat-footed by Sondland's testimony.

"White House lawyers pressed in recent days to learn from Sondland’s legal team what the ambassador would tell Congress about the president and claims of a “quid pro quo” in his much-anticipated testimony today," The Washington Post reported Wednesday. "Sondland’s lawyers declined however to provide the White House with an early peek into the account that this key impeachment witness would give lawmakers about his interactions with the president."

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John Dean says the Republican Party clearly doesn’t know what they’re doing

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Former White House counsel John Dean couldn't help but notice that the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives seem to be in a mess of trouble.

The morning began with the GOP's key witness, Ambassador Gordon Sondland not only didn't give Republicans what they needed, he threw the president, vice president and Secretary of State under the bus, along with the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Dean explained that when he was dealing with former President Richard Nixon's impeachment, the GOP was far more organized.

CNN's Jake Tapper asked Dean about his observations during the Watergate era and if the White House kept claiming that everything was awesome.

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‘Fox News knew’: Vindman lawyers rip Laura Ingraham for hosting ‘false and defamatory’ segment

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An attorney representing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is demanding Fox News retract a segment that aired on the "Ingraham Angle" that suggested Vindman may have committed treason.

"This firm represents Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman," read the letter from David Pressman of Boies, Schiller Flexner, LLP.

"We are compelled to write because of a deeply flawed and erroneous Fox News segment that first aired on October 28, 2019, the gist of which has since been republished countless times, including by the president of the United States to his 66.9 million Twitter followers. Laura Ingraham reported the Segment during her show, 'The Ingraham Angle' along with John Yoo, who was a panelist invited by Fox News to participate in its coverage of LTC Vindman," the letter read.

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