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PARIS — French actress Julie Gayet whose affair with President Francois Hollande caused a sensation earlier this year won a second court case Tuesday against the gossip magazine that revealed their liaison.

A criminal court in Nanterre west of Paris ruled that a picture of published by Closer magazine of Gayet in her car was a violation of her privacy and handed the magazine’s editor and the photographer who took the image suspended fines, French radio reported.

The picture appeared in Closer‘s January 17 edition, a week after the paper first revealed the liaison between the 60-year-old president and 42-year-old actress.

In France, taking a person’s photograph in a private place without their consent is an offense punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (59,000 dollars).

Gayet successfully argued that her car was a private place.

The ruling is the second against Closer over the affair.

In a civil case in March, the magazine was ordered to pay Gayet 15,000 euros in damages over an earlier set of pictures showing her and Hollande arriving separately at a Paris apartment they allegedly used for trysts.

The pictures led to Hollande’s split from his partner of several years, journalist Valerie Trierweiler.

Trierweiler, 49, is bringing out a book on Thursday on her year-and-a-half stint as first lady, France Info radio reported Tuesday.

The book’s release was confirmed to the radio by Les Arenes publishing company.

A journalist for the parliamentary channel LCP tweeted that the account was entitled “Merci pour le moment” (Thanks for the moment) and that it “does not spare Hollande.”

AFP Photo/Jewel Samad

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Eric Holder

The failure of major federal voting rights legislation in the Senate has left civil rights advocates saying they are determined to keep fighting—including by suing in battleground states. But the little bipartisan consensus that exists on election reform would, at best, lead to much narrower legislation that is unlikely to address state-level GOP efforts now targeting Democratic blocs.

“This is the loss of a battle, but it is not necessarily the loss of a war, and this war will go on,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general and Democrat, told MSNBC, saying that he and the Democratic Party will be suing in states where state constitutions protect voting rights. “This fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue.”

“The stakes are too important to give up now,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which for years has operated an Election Day hotline to help people vote. “Our country cannot claim to be free while allowing states to legislate away that freedom at will.”

In recent weeks, as it became clear that the Senate was not going to change its rules to allow the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to pass with a simple majority, there have been efforts by some lawmakers, election policy experts, and civil rights advocates to identify what election reforms could pass the Senate.

“There are several areas… where I think there could be bipartisan consensus,” said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, in a briefing on January 20. “These areas are all around those guardrails of democracy. They are all about ensuring that however the voters speak that their voice is heard… and cannot be subverted by anyone in the post-election process.”

Becker cited updating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which addressed the process where state-based slates of presidential electors are accepted by Congress. (In recent weeks, new evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump’s supporters tried to present Congress with forged certificates as part of an effort to disrupt ratifying the results on January 6, 2021.) Updating that law could also include clarifying which state officials have final authority in elections and setting out clear timetables for challenging election results in federal court after Election Day.

Five centrist Washington-based think tanks issued a report on January 20, Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform, which suggested federal legislation could codify practices now used by nearly three-quarters of the states. Those include requiring voters to present ID, offering at least a week of early voting, allowing all voters to request a mailed-out ballot, and allowing states to start processing returned absentee ballots a week before Election Day.

But the report, which heavily drew on a task force of 29 state and local election officials from 20 states convened by Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center, was notable in what it did not include, such as restoring the major enforcement section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was removed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. It did not mention the Electoral Count Act nor growing threats to election officials from Trump supporters.

“This won’t satisfy all supporters of the Freedom to Vote Act, but this is a plausible & serious package of reforms to make elections more accessible and secure that could attract bipartisan support,” tweeted Charles Stewart III, a political scientist and director of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab. “A good starting point.”

The reason the centrist recommendations won’t satisfy civil rights advocates is that many of the most troubling developments since the 2020 election would likely remain.

Targeting Battleground States

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Former president Donald Trump

By Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer

(Reuters) -The prosecutor for Georgia's biggest county on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation into then-President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the U.S. state's 2020 election results.

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