Photo: Christophe Ena/AP

Plumes of smoke rise near the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, decorated with the Christmas lights, during the second weekend of France-wide protests against a rise in the gas tax, and general discontent with fiscal burdens.

The big picture: "Thousands of police were deployed nationwide to contain the eighth day of deadly demonstrations that started as protests against tax but morphed into a rebuke of President Emmanuel Macron and the perceived elitism of France's ruling class," AP reports. "It's going to trigger a civil war and me, like most other citizens, we're all ready," said Benjamin Vrignaud, a 21-year-old protester from Chartres.

Why it matters, from the N.Y. Times' Adam Nossiter in Paris:

  • "Welling up rapidly from rural and forgotten France, this broad-based, citizen-driven movement is among the most serious challenges yet to President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business government."

Trump tweets this morning: "The large and violent French protests don’t take into account how badly the United States has been treated on Trade by the European Union or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection. Both of these topics must be remedied soon."

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Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes

A Harvard Law School graduate on campus before attending an online graduation ceremony on May 28. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Harvard and MIT on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to block federal guidance that would largely bar foreign college students from taking classes if their universities move classes entirely online in the fall.

The big picture: Colleges, which often rely heavily on tuition from international students, face a unique challenge to safely get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic. Some elite institutions, like Harvard, have already made the decision to go virtual.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Facebook auditors say it's failing on civil rights

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The findings from a new civil rights audit commissioned and released by Facebook show that the tech giant repeatedly failed to address issues of hatred, bigotry and manipulation on its platform.

Why it matters: The report comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott and criticism for prioritizing freedom of speech over limiting misinformation and protecting users targeted by hate speech.