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It’s Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Thanks for choosing to start here.

1. Trump and Democrats spar in Oval Office

In an argument played out before the press, President Donald Trump fought with Democratic leaders in the Oval Office over immigration, telling them he would be willing to shut down the government to get $5 billion for his border wall.

While House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the president he didn’t have the votes to fund the wall, it was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who forced the shutdown issue, according to ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

“Schumer is goading the president into doing what he ultimately did, which is to take full ownership of the shutdown if there is one,” Karl said.

As the Dec. 21 funding deadline looms, is the government headed for a shutdown?

ABC News Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce tells us, “Both sides are very clearly digging in, and it does not seem there is a whole lot of room here for compromise.”

2. Google goes to Washington

The House Judiciary Committee grilled Google CEO Sundar Pichai on a number of topics, ranging from data privacy to accusations of political bias, in a hearing on Tuesday.

“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai said in his written testimony. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”

One of the biggest concerns for lawmakers was China. Pichai told the committee Google had “no plans to launch a service in China,” but he avoided ruling out plans for a censored search product.

ABC News’ Ali Rogin walks us through the main takeaways of the hearing.

3. Baylor frat president won’t go to prison

There’s growing outrage after a former fraternity president at Baylor University charged with sexually assaulting another student walked out of court without receiving jail time.

Jacob Anderson, 24, made a deal with prosecutors to plead no contest to unlawful restraint. Under terms of the agreement, he’ll have to pay a $400 fine and attend mandatory counseling, but ABC News’ Linsey Davis notes: “He will not have to register as a sex offender, and if he manages to stay out of trouble for the next three years, this crime won’t even be on his record.”

4. 3 shot dead in France terror plot

Local authorities said at least two people were killed and 14 were injured in a shooting in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday.

The incident is being treated as terrorism, the Paris counter-terrorism prosecutor’s office told ABC News.

ABC News Foreign Editor Kirit Radia tells us that suspect was known to police before the attack.

Other news:

‘A sentence of non-incarceration is both appropriate and warranted’: Michael Flynn’s lawyers say he should not go to prison.

‘Continuing to pursue this case will not serve any purpose’: Charges against the 23-year-old New York mother seen in a viral video having her baby yanked from her grasp by police officers and security guards at a social services office have been dropped.

‘Water of the United States’: Redefining WOTUS, largely by lifting federal protections on certain bodies of water, could have massive effects throughout the U.S.

Orange you glad that banana told you to follow your dreams?: An elementary school cafeteria worker, who has two daughters of her own, writes thoughtful messages on bananas for students because “they need to hear all of this and be inspired every day.”

From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:

Is California Failing Its Most Vulnerable Adults?: Thousands of allegations of abuse and neglect have been made against the programs that care for people with developmental disabilities.

Last ‘Nightline’:

‘Roger and I were best mates’: The internet mourned the death of the world-famous kangaroo, known for his enormous size and buff physique.

Proud Boys founder on whether he feels responsible for group’s controversial behavior: Gavin McInnes, who left the group last month, said: “I shouldn’t have said violence solves everything … without making the context clear, and I regret saying things like that.”

Today in history:

Dec. 12, 2013 — The International Space Station breaks down.

The must-see photo:

For more great photos from around the world click HERE.

Socially acceptable:

All right, you’re off and running. You can always get the latest news on ABCNews.com and on the ABC News app. Details on how to subscribe to the “Start Here” podcast are below. See you tomorrow.

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