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Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 6:40 a.m. EST

December 23, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — The early days of the partial government shutdown were having minimal impact because of the Christmas holiday, but even a temporary solution seems out of reach at least until the Senate’s next full session on Thursday. President Donald Trump remains adamant that he get $5 billion to fund the border wall and Democrats oppose that. The leaders of the House and the Senate effectively closed up shop for the long holiday weekend. But they didn’t rule out action if a deal were struck.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s disaster management agency says the death toll from a tsunami believed to be triggered by a volcanic eruption has climbed to 222, with 843 others injured and 28 missing. Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says those numbers may still rise since not all affected areas have been reached. The volcano that erupted lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, linking the Indian Ocean and Java Sea. It erupted about 24 minutes before the tsunami, according to officials.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After saying less than two weeks ago that it would be “reckless” to consider the Islamic State group defeated and unwise to pull U.S. troops out of the fight, Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting IS has become the latest departure from the Trump administration. McGurk resigned weeks sooner than expected after President Donald Trump declared victory and said the troops are coming back from Syria. He joins Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in leaving the Trump administration.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has appointed hard-line opponents of neighboring Pakistan to two top security posts, potentially complicating U.S. efforts to revive peace talks with the Taliban ahead of next summer’s withdrawal of 7,000 American troops. Ghani announced Sunday that Amrullah Saleh will be the next interior minister and Asadullah Khaleed will be defense minister. Both have blamed Pakistan for the Taliban’s resurgence and have even called for it to be declared a state sponsor of terror.

PARIS (AP) — French authorities are defending police actions to contain protest violence after a policeman was seen briefly brandishing a gun at a surging crowd in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron called for “the most severe” legal repercussions against violent protesters. The numbers of protesters were sharply down Saturday on the sixth weekend of actions by the yellow vest movement, but violence again erupted in Paris.

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