Nebraska Supreme Court removes Keystone XL barrier

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Two intense standoffs with gunmen are underway in and around Paris early Friday afternoon -- one involving the two brothers wanted in the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the other a hostage situation at a kosher grocery store. Authorities have not said if or how the situations are related, but both underscored France's days-long nightmare and anti-terrorism fight. Latest updates at 10:38 a.m. ET GROCERY STORE HOSTAGE SITUATION • Dozens of schools were placed under lockdown because of the hostage situation in eastern Paris, police said. • At least one man -- suspected to be Amedy Coulibaly, 32, one of two people wanted in Thursday's deadly shooting of a policewoman south of Paris -- is thought to be holding six people in the kosher store near Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris, police union spokesman Romain Fabiano told CNN affiliate BFMTV. • Authorities haven't said how many are being held, or if anyone has been killed. • Police anti-terror units raced to the scene of the hostage situation early Friday afternoon, while ambulances blared as they moved away from it. Roads around the area have been blocked off. OTHER DEVELOPMENTS • Said Kouachi, one of the two brothers suspected of killing 12 people in and around the provocative satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, spent several months in Yemen in 2011, receiving weapons training and working with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based there, U.S. officials said Friday. • French President Francois Hollande held a crisis meeting Friday afternoon with senior Cabinet members at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Those in attendance included Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, according to the French presidency. • These aren't the only incidents occupying French authorities. So, too, is the fatal shooting of the policewoman Thursday in Montrouge, a southern suburb of Paris. On Friday, French police released photos of a man and a woman -- Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddiene, 26 -- who they believe carried out this attack and are believed to be armed and dangerous. STANDOFF IN DAMMARTIN-EN-GOELE • In Dammartin-en-Goele -- where the Kouachi brothers, the suspects in the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, are believed to be surrounded -- there have been media reports that gunmen are holding hostages, though Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre Henri Brandet tweeted that this is not confirmed. • He tweeted that negotiating teams have made it their top priority trying to establish a dialogue with the extremists inside the building. Yves Albarello, who is in France's parliament, said on French channel iTele that the two suspects told police by phone that they wanted to die as martyrs. • There had been no assault, nor any injuries or deaths, as of 1 p.m. (7 a.m. ET), the Interior Ministry spokesman added. • A salesman, who identified himself only as Didier, told France Info radio that he shook one of the gunman's hands around 8:30 a.m. Friday as they arrived at a Dammartin-en-Goele printing business -- the same place where the Kouachi brothers are believed to be surrounded. Didier told the public radio station that he first thought the man, who was dressed in black and heavily armed, was a police officer. As he left, the armed man said, "Go, we don't kill civilians." Didier said, "It wasn't normal. I did not know what was going on." • Dammartin-en-Goele residents have been told to stay inside, and schools are on lockdown, the mayor's media office told CNN on Friday. Shops in the town have been told to close. Father: 'It's like a war' Henri Dunant elementary school should be a place to learn, to play, to be a kid. Not to hide in fear of killers on the loose. But that's what students did for hours Friday, there and at many other schools around Dammartin-en-Goele. By late Friday afternoon, some of them were finally allowed to leave, though they weren't alone. Police officers accompanied the children -- holding their hands as they guided and, in some cases, lifted them onto an awaiting bus that would take them to safety. The Interior Ministry reported the schoolchildren were being evacuated to sports facilities in nearby Mitry-Mory. One father, who lives across the street from a school and asked to be identified only as Teddy, described the situation as "very worrying." "It's like a war," he said. "I don't know how I will explain this to my 5-year-old son." Previous sightings? Two days ago, it was all about Charlie Hebdo, the magazine whose offices came under ruthless attack, with staff members called out and summarily executed. Now, it's about Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, the brothers allegedly behind that horrific violence, who set off a massive manhunt after they got away. Authorities followed a lead Thursday morning from a gas station attendant near Villers-Cotterets, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Dammartin-en-Goele, whom the Kouachis reportedly threatened as they stole food and gas. Police think the brothers may have later fled on foot into nearby woodlands. Northern France's Picardy region is the focal point of the manhunt, with Prime Minister Valls putting it on the same, highest-possible alert level as has been in place since Wednesday in and around Paris. And police spying down with night vision optics from helicopters say they think they caught a glimpse of them Thursday near Crepy-en-Valois, France -- not far from the reported robbery. That town and the gas station border on a patch of woods, and on another side of the forest, 30 to 40 police vehicles swarmed out from the town of Longpont. Squads of officers armed with rifles -- some in helmets and with shields -- canvassed fields and forest. They didn't find the Kouachi brothers there. Instead, somehow, they're believed to have moved to Dammartin-en-Goele. Other places, other troubles More than 80,000 officers deployed across France to try to intercept the brothers and anyone else -- like those behind the Montrouge shooting, which authorities ruled a terror attack -- intent on inflicting harm. "France is living through a trial, when we see the worst massacre of this kind in the last 50 years," President Francois Hollande said Friday. "It shows when a newspaper is attacked that it's because it's the expression of liberty itself." As they stand guard against more bloodshed, authorities are working to piece together what's happened already and the backgrounds of those responsible. Police have detained at least nine people in connection with the Charlie Hebdo investigation, in addition to searching residences in a few towns. They're also trying to learn more about the brothers they believe carried out the horrific attack. His older brother, Said, the elder of the Kouachi brothers, has been to Yemen, a French official said. There, he had weapons training with al Qaeda, a U.S. official with access to French intelligence said. Cherif Kouachi was sentenced to three years in prison for being part of a jihadist recruitment ring in Paris that sent fighters to join the conflict in Iraq. An ISIS radio broadcast Thursday praised the attackers, calling them "brave jihadists." But the broadcast did not say whether the two had any connection to the militant group. Bloodshed, satire, values Charlie Hebdo's staff is as defiant as it was after its former offices were fire-bombed in 2011, the day it was to publish an issue poking fun at Islamic law. Back then, editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier, "Charb" for short, said it would not slow them down one bit. The magazine continued lampooning world religions, politics and society in its hallmark profane -- at times vulgar -- style. Some have found their drawings offensive, but they are not uncommon for European comic satire aimed at an adult audience. Since the attack, Charb was guarded day and night, a journalist who knew him told CNN. Yemen's al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula placed him on a list of assassination targets. He was among those killed Wednesday, along with four other well-known cartoonists known by the pen names Cabu, Wolinski, Honore and Tignous. Patrick Pelloux, a columnist for the magazine and also a trained paramedic, rushed to the offices when he heard about the shooting. "I don't know if I'm afraid anymore, because I've seen fear. I was scared for my friends, and they are dead," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I know that they didn't want us to be quiet. They wanted us to continue to fight for these values, cultural pluralism, democracy and secularism, the respect of others. They would be assassinated twice, if we remained silent."

The White House says it’s waiting on the State Department to review a new court ruling that effectively removes a major block to the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“The State Department is examining the court’s decision as part of its process to evaluate whether the Keystone XL Pipeline project serves the national interest. As we have made clear, we are going to let that process play out,” Eric Schultz, White House principal deputy press secretary, said Friday.

His statement comes after the Nebraska Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling that was stalling construction of the pipeline, which would run through several states and carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

President Barack Obama has said he was awaiting final word by the Nebraska court before determining whether to grant TransCanada, the firm building the pipeline, a presidential permit to move forward with remaining construction.

The decision reverses a lower court decision that had ruled the pipeline unconstitutional. While a majority of the court’s seven justices sided with landowners who were fighting Gov. Dave Heineman’s plans to OK the pipeline’s construction, a super majority of five justices were needed in order to rule his decision unconstitutional and block the pipeline’s development.

Opponents say the pipeline would run a significant risk to the environment, while proponents argue it will boost jobs and lessen American dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The State Department earlier this year released a long-anticipated report saying the completion of the pipeline would have little impact on carbon emissions.

The pipeline has been a political flashpoint in recent years, and the GOP-controlled House is expected to vote on its version of the pipeline plan around midday Friday.

“President Obama is now out of excuses for blocking the Keystone pipeline and the thousands of American jobs it would create. Finally, it’s time to start building,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.

Schultz reiterated that Obama would veto the House bill, saying it “conflicts with longstanding Executive branch procedures regarding the authority of the President and prevents the thorough consideration of complex issues that could bear on U.S. national interests.

With Republicans now in control of the Senate, they’ve pledged to make the issue a priority in the new Congress. The Senate Energy Committee approved legislation to complete the project on Thursday, and a procedural vote is expected on the measure Monday in the full Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Obama Friday in a statement to reconsider his veto threat and said the Senate would soon pass a proposal to approve the project. “The president now has every reason to sign it,” McConnell said.

TransCanada is waiting for U.S. approval to finish construction on 1,200 miles of pipeline known as Keystone XL, which would complete a partially built pipeline network that runs 3,800 miles. The incomplete part of the pipeline would run through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.