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Six arrested in France over suspected far-right plot to attack Macron

France's intelligence agency, the DGSI, said the six people were arrested in three separate reg..

France's intelligence agency, the DGSI, said the six people were arrested in three separate regions: Isère, southeast of Lyon; Moselle, on the border with Germany and Luxembourg; and Ille-et-Vilaine, in the northwest near the city of Rennes.The suspects include five men and a woman between the ages of 22 and 62, a judicial source close to the probe told CNN. All have connections to the far-right, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. "The investigation is looking into an imprecise and loosely formed plan for violent action against the President of the Republic," said the judicial source, who declined to be named discussing an ongoing investigation. The arrests come after Macron warned in an interview with Le Courrier Picard on Sunday of the rising threat of the far-right movement, adding that complacency in the early 1900s paved the way for Hitler's rise in Germany and Mussolini in Italy.According to Reuters, France's far-right euroskeptic National Rally — formerly known as the National Front — is leading the polls against Macron ahead of the European Parliament election in May. The party is led by Marine Le Pen.

Far right extremism

France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Monday that the country remained "on alert" over threats posed by "extremist networks both on the right and left, which are quite active in our country," according to France 24.In June, 10 members of a far-right group called Action des Forces Operationnelles (Operational Forces Action) were charged in connection with an alleged plot to attack Muslims. And in October 2017, anti-terrorism police arrested 10 people reportedly over alleged plans to attack mosques, migrants and leftist politician Jean-Luc Melenchon. Macron has also been targeted before. During the Bastille Day celebrations in July 2017, a 23-year-old was charged over a plot to assassinate the President.Investigators said the man planned to attack Macron on July 14, during a parade on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, where US President Donald Trump was set to be a guest of honor. A self-described far-right nationalist, the man told police he wanted to make a political statement by killing Macron, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.The six arrests on Tuesday come as France begins to commemorate the centenary of the World War I armistice.

CNN's Bianca Britton and Arnaud Siad contributed to this story from London and Helen Regan contributed from Hong Kong.



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Brexit deal on knife-edge as Theresa May awaits Cabinet verdict

Ministers were gathering in Downing Street for a crucial meeting at which May will learn whether she..

Ministers were gathering in Downing Street for a crucial meeting at which May will learn whether she has done enough to persuade them to back her, in the face of a clamor of dissent from opponents of the deal. May and her top aides spent much of Tuesday evening in a succession of one-on-one meetings with Cabinet members, in an intensive effort to sell the deal to skeptical ministers.As ministers trooped into Downing Street, opponents of the deal — many within her own party — urged them to kill it off.A sign of the peril faced by May came at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons when one of her own MPs, Peter Bone, accused her of "not delivering the Brexit people voted for." In a moment of high drama, Bone said May would "lose the support of many Conservative MPs and millions of voters across the country."The opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, laid into the PM's deal. "After two years of bungled negotiations, from what we know of the government's deal, it's a failure in its own terms," Corbyn said, repeatedly describing the negotiations as "shambolic." He slammed May for offering a choice between a "botched deal and no deal."Theresa May ahead of Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.May was bullish, accusing Corbyn of wanting to block Brexit and said she was confident the deal would bring the UK "significantly closer to delivering what the British people voted for in the referendum."Chief among hardliners' concerns is that the agreement will tie the UK to the EU's customs union and parts of the single market free-trade area for years to come, without any say in how the bloc is run. Boris Johnson, a leading Brexiteer who quit Mays Cabinet earlier this year, led the charge. "It is vassal state stuff," he told ITV News on Tuesday evening. "Chuck it out."UK media say Brexit is becoming a catastropheMay's Cabinet is deeply divided between hardline Brexit supporters and others who voted to remain in the EU. Downing Street hopes that she has done enough to convince her senior ministers that the draft text fulfills the result of the 2016 referendum and prevent a mass walkout that would imperil the deal.But even if she can get it through her Cabinet, there's no guarantee that she can get it through parliament. The Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 MPs prop up May's minority government, said it would not support it. Sammy Wilson, the party's Brexit spokesman, wrote on Twitter: "All of the great and the good who were rolled out during the #EURef will be rolled out again in the coming weeks to try and get us to fall into line. We are clear — we will not be voting for this humiliation!"

Deadlock broken

The conclusion of a draft deal with the European Union on Tuesday was a significant moment for May, ending months of deadlock.Senior officials in the UK and the rest of the EU had issued dire warnings of a no-deal scenario that could devastate the British economy. But May's victory is only the beginning of what is expected to be a protracted and painful political process. Lawmakers in the UK won the right to a "meaningful vote," which gives them the chance to accept or reject the Brexit deal. They must also vote on the legislation that turns the text agreed with the European Union into UK law.Opponents take particular issue with the part of the agreement that deals with the border between Ireland, which remains in the EU, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the EU. Critics say the border agreement would, at least temporarily, tie the UK to the EU's trading rules without a way out."Without a clean exit clause, the United Kingdom would be handcuffed to the European Union with Brussels holding the keys," said DUP leader Arlene Foster.Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Wednesday that he wanted the Irish parliament to vote on the text of the Brexit deal, providing another potential obstacle for May in getting her deal across the line.If the deal fails to jump the many political hurdles ahead, it would almost certainly be the end of May's career and Britain would plunge again into political chaos.While the British government and media have taken the Brexit deal as a breakthrough, EU officials have urged caution, pointing to the long political process that lies ahead.The Cabinet meeting, scheduled for after Prime Minister's questions, will coincide with a gathering of ambassadors from the other 27 EU member nations in Brussels, who will also discuss the draft deal.

CNN's Stephanie Halasz, Erin McLaughlin, Bianca Nobilo and Peter Taggart contributed to this report.



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UK PM: Brexit deal ‘immensely difficult’

Addressing leaders of London's financial district, where anxiety is mounting about the economic..

Addressing leaders of London's financial district, where anxiety is mounting about the economic impact of a no-deal Brexit, May said that an agreement would not come "at any cost.""Any deal must ensure we take back control of our laws, borders and money," she said. "It must secure the ability to strike new trade deals around the world."Michel Barnier, the chief European Union negotiator, earlier that day told European ministers negotiations had run into the early hours of Monday morning.Talks were so intense and protracted that Barnier canceled a planned press conference Monday so he could continue thrashing out a deal, a European diplomat told CNN.A key sticking point is the Irish border. Currently, the UK and Ireland are both part of the EU single market, so goods passing between the two regions do not need customs inspections.Both sides want to avoid a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and Ireland which would require infrastructure and customs checks, but cannot agree on the terms.If no agreement is made, a backstop will come into effect in 2020 which will effectively see Northern Ireland remain in the EU customs union.Both EU and British officials declined to comment on reports that European Council President Donald Tusk had given May a deadline of Wednesday night to agree a deal.Once Barnier indicates that sufficient progress has been made towards a deal, it will take 10 days to two weeks to call a summit to approve it, the officials said.

Ticking time bomb

May has been scrambling to finalize a deal by the end of November in order to put a "meaningful final vote" before MPs ahead of Christmas. Time is ticking. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019.Earlier this week, Jo Johnson resigned as transport minister and called for a second referendum on Brexit."We are barreling towards an incoherent Brexit that is going to leave us trapped in a subordinate relationship to the EU, with no say over the rules that will govern huge swathes of our economy,"Johnson said in a video statement posted online. After nearly 18 months of grueling negotiations, May is widely reported to be nearing a deal that would tie Britain to EU rules and regulations for a transition period. The prime minister has flatly rejected calls for a second Brexit vote. "The referendum in 2016 was the biggest democratic exercise in this country's history," her spokesperson told CNN. "We will not under any circumstances have a second referendum."

CNN's Laura Smith-Spark and Rob North contributed to this report.



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White House: Trump discussed key issues with Putin, Macron and Merkel

“Today at lunch, the President sat with President Macron, Chancellor Merkel, and President Putin, an..

"Today at lunch, the President sat with President Macron, Chancellor Merkel, and President Putin, and many other world leaders," Sanders told reporters traveling with the President. "The leaders discussed a variety of issues, including the INF (nuclear treaty), Syria, trade, the situation in Saudi Arabia, sanctions, Afghanistan, China and North Korea."Sanders said, "They had very good and productive discussions during the two-hour lunch," which was held at the official residence of the French President. Russian state news agencies reported a brief exchange between Trump and Putin at Sunday's armistice centenary ceremonies in Paris. RIA Novosti reported Putin as replying in the affirmative when asked if he was able to talk with Trump in a meeting at the Élysée Palace with other foreign leaders.Asked how the conversation went, according to RIA, the Russian President replied: "Well."Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the two leaders were able to exchange pleasantries during the working lunch, Russian state agencies reported.



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