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French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a special address to the nation on Monday, his first public comments after four weeks of nationwide "yellow vest" (gilet jaune) protests. Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Macron Promises Minimum Wage Hike And Tax Cuts To End 'Yellow Vest' Protests

In a speech on Monday, France's president declared "a state of social and economic emergency," offering some concessions to his critics. Among them, tax relief for the middle class and pensioners.

Maria Butina, left, has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors after she was charged with being an unregistered foreign agent. Her onetime mentor, Alexander Torshin, right, is reportedly retiring. Pavel Ptitsin/AP hide caption

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Pavel Ptitsin/AP

Maria Butina, Accused Of Being Russian Agent, Reaches Plea Deal With Feds

The Russian woman apparently was part of an effort to build clandestine ties between Moscow and important parts of the conservative establishment.

Former Texas GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold denies allegations from a former aide that he sexually harassed her, but he used taxpayer funds to settle a claim. Congress is working to change the current system and make lawmakers personally liable. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

How Congress Handles Sexual Harassment Claims Needs Fixing, But No Deal Yet On Bill

Leaders have vowed to pass a bill changing how Congress handles claims, but the House and Senate versions have big differences. Taxpayers are still paying for any settlements involving lawmakers.

How Congress Handles Sexual Harassment Claims Needs Fixing, But No Deal Yet On Bill

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A refugee transit center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in a photo taken last year. Two class action lawsuits are seeking injunctions to transfer refugees held there to Australia and award damages to them. Aziz Abdul/AP hide caption

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Aziz Abdul/AP

Lawsuits Say Australia Subjects Asylum-Seekers To Torture And Crimes Against Humanity

The class-action lawsuits represent more than 1,000 migrants detained by the government on islands belonging to other countries, under contract with Australia.

Protesters disrupted a U.S. side event on the future importance of fossil fuels at the COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland, on Monday. Separately, U.S. negotiators are helping to write a rule book that will help countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Frank Jordans/AP hide caption

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Frank Jordans/AP

Dueling U.S. Agendas As U.N. Climate Change Summit Enters Crucial Final Week

The U.S. hosted an event on coal and refused to endorse the findings of a dire climate science report. And yet, in official negotiations, the U.S. is working out how to implement the Paris agreement.

A NASA illustration depicts the positions of both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes, now outside the heliosphere. Voyager 1 left the heliosphere in August 2012, while Voyager 2 left at a different location last month. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

Voyager 2 Bids Adieu To The Heliosphere, Entering Interstellar Space

The milestone makes the 41-year-old NASA probe just the second human-made object, after Voyager 1, to reach such distant regions. Now, Voyager 2 is over 11 billion miles from the sun — and counting.

Planned Parenthood opened its new headquarters in Washington, D.C., in September. The Supreme Court declined to take up a key case that is a big win for Planned Parenthood. Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Supreme Court Ducks Effort To Defund Planned Parenthood

Two states had tried to block the use of Medicaid money for non-abortion, pregnancy-related health care services at Planned Parenthood. The action is a big win for the organization.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on the South Lawn of the White House in August 2017. President Trump announced Saturday Kelly would be leaving the administration by the end of the year. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Help Wanted: White House Chief Of Staff

President Trump is hunting for his third chief of staff in less than two years. So far, he's not finding many takers. "You have to wonder who would want to take this job," said one scholar.

The Union Jack flies above the Palace of Westminster, the seat of Parliament in London. U.K. lawmakers are expected to decide soon the fate of a draft Brexit deal negotiated between Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May Delays Critical Vote On Brexit Deal Amid Fears Of Its Defeat

"If we held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by a significant margin," the U.K. prime minister admitted, hours after a European Union court ruled the U.K. can still back out of Brexit.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the new mayor of Freetown in Sierra Leone, speaks at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit in New York City. "For decades, there had been no structure, no focused thinking of a strategy for the city," she says. "The way my brain works is with plans. I have to have a to-do list." Riccardo Savi/Getty Images hide caption

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Riccardo Savi/Getty Images

Break Rules, Clean Up Gutters: The To-Do List Of A Rookie Mayor In Sierra Leone

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the first female mayor in Freetown in years, is trying to clean up the perpetual mess caused by rain and garbage — a first step in her plan to revive the beleaguered city.

Vocalist Rosalia earned the Alt.Latino critics' top spot in 2018. Courtesy of the Artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the Artist

Alt.Latino's Best Music of 2018

It's been another watershed year for Latin music. Alt.Latino's Felix Contreras, Stefanie Fernández, Catalina María Johnson and Marisa Arbona-Ruiz round up the year's best.

Alt.Latino's Best Music of 2018

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Black Panther, Roma, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Widows, A Star is Born and Eighth Grade all made NPR's favorite-movie list. (Top) Marvel Studios/Netflix/Universal Pictures; (bottom) 20th Century Fox/Warner Bros./A24 hide caption

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(Top) Marvel Studios/Netflix/Universal Pictures; (bottom) 20th Century Fox/Warner Bros./A24

NPR's Favorite Movies Of 2018

From the record-breaking hit Black Panther to the melodrama A Star Is Born, our film critics pick their 15 favorite movies of the year.

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