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France

As part of a set of ambitious new environmental goals, France expects to do away entirely with the sale of diesel and gas vehicles by 2040.

Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announced the proposal on Thursday as part of the country's renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal, reports the BBC.

Hulot said that financial assistance would be available to lower-income drivers to replace their gas vehicles with cleaner ones.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Monday

Emmanuel Macron — an independent centrist who has never held elected office — has won a resounding victory over far-right, nationalist Marine Le Pen in the most important French presidential race in decades.

According to the French Interior Ministry and multiple news outlets, Macron won with near 66 percent of the vote over Le Pen's just over 34 percent.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

One police officer is dead and two seriously wounded after a shooting on Paris' famous Champs Elysees, in an incident that left one attacker dead. The assailant reportedly targeted a police vehicle. Authorities say a bystander was also wounded.

French prosecutor Francois Molins said the authorities have identified the shooter and are assessing whether the attacker had accomplices. Raids and searches were ongoing, Molins said.

French police have reportedly arrested more than a dozen people during raids linked to the high-profile robbery of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West in Paris last October.

During the robbery, a group of thieves burst into the private residence where Kardashian West was staying, held her at gunpoint, then escaped on bicycles with jewelry worth about $10 million.

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Emma Jacobs

It has been an eventful political week in France, which has its presidential election scheduled for the spring of 2017. Voting began last Sunday in the two-round primary for the center-right parties. But this year, the French political left has been paying extra attention — and in some cases, participating.

With incumbent socialist President Francois Hollande very unpopular, some left-wing voters believe they will eventually be casting final ballots this spring for the right’s candidate, against the far-right’s Marine Le Pen.

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Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

In France, President-elect Donald Trump’s victory this week has immediately provoked comparisons to the country’s own presidential contest — made both by the media and the French candidates themselves.

Following the US elections and, before that, the Brexit vote and regional victories by Germany’s far-right AFD-party, France is positioned as the next major referendum in Europe between progressive and rightist visions of their country.

After the July 14 terrorist attack in Nice, the French interior minister called on "all willing French patriots" to help defend the country by volunteering for the military's reserves.

Two sisters, Majda and Amina Belaroui, French Muslims of Moroccan heritage, heeded the call in the wake of the Bastille Day attack, when a Tunisian truck driver mowed down crowds of spectators, killing 84 and wounding hundreds.

On Thursday night, in Nice, France, thousands of people were gathered on a seaside promenade to watch the Bastille Day fireworks.

Then a man in a truck accelerated into the crowd, and kept going. His attack killed more than 80 people, and didn't end until police shot him dead.

Imad Dafaaoui, a Moroccan university student, was horrifyingly close to the truck. He told Morning Edition he saw a crowd of people running toward him, with a white truck behind them, and he too turned to flee.

But he made a nearly fatal error: he ran in the wrong direction.

At a beachside restaurant in Nice, France, Eric Drattell and his wife were relaxing after a fireworks show when a white truck began speeding down the seaside promenade, mowing people down.

"You go from having an absolutely marvelous time to sheer terror in a blink of an eye, literally," he says. "It was a spectacular fireworks show. And then all of a sudden this happens and people are screaming."

Updated 4:00 a.m. ET Friday:

The French interior minister says 84 people have been killed. The four new reported deaths are thought to come from the list of critically injured.

Updated 11:00 p.m. ET Thursday:

A truck drove into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing dozens of people on Thursday evening. The French interior minister says 80 people have been killed and 18 are in critical condition.

A third of France's gas stations have no fuel to offer drivers. The nation's electricity supply has dropped — though not enough to cause worry, officials say.

Smoke bombs are being tossed on the streets of Le Havre.

But you might have trouble reading about the upheaval over coffee and croissants. There were no newspapers in Paris today, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports.

It's all part of the ongoing dispute between labor groups and the French government over President Francois Hollande's plan to overhaul the country's labor policies.

Didi points to where he was standing when the terrorists arrived the night of Nov. 13, when he was on duty as a security guard outside the Bataclan concert hall. The gunmen massacred 90 people that night, in a killing spree that lasted nearly two hours. They were "shooting when they arrived," Didi says.

"There was nothing you could do," he says. "I told myself, I've got to quickly get as many people out of there as possible because these terrorists have come to kill as many people as they can."

The French comic that may have influenced 'Star Wars'

Dec 16, 2015
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 Jean-Claude Mézières and Pierre Christin

Director George Lucas has cited many, many influences for his legendary Star Wars series, from Japanese director Akira Kurosawa to Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth. But a little-known influence may have come from the French comic book series, Valerian and Laureline illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Nov. 21, 2015, and has been updated to reflect the attack in Nice, France.

Many Americans have seen France as a country that wasn't supportive, bordering on antagonistic, as the U.S. waged wars against radical Islamists on several fronts following the Sept. 11 attacks.