France

Updated Saturday at 12:50 p.m. ET

A French police officer who was severely wounded on Friday after exchanging himself for a gunman's hostage has died of his injuries, raising the death toll in the attack to four, according to French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb.

Col. Arnaud Beltrame, 44, was one of the first police officers to respond to the attack on a supermarket in southern France, which began after a gunman killed one victim in a carjacking, then killed two others in the grocery store. Sixteen others were also wounded in the attack.

The City of Light is water-weary.

A month's worth of unusually heavy rain in Paris gave way to sunshine on Friday, but a day later, the skies were sodden once again, leading to fears that the Seine, which has already overrun its banks, would creep across more of the city.

French President Emmanuel Macron says he will push a new law aimed at clamping down on fake news, saying he hopes to have it in place by the end of the year.

Speaking at a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday, Macron said such a law was essential, especially during elections.

"The freedom of the press is not a special freedom, it is the highest expression of freedom," Macron said. "If we want to protect liberal democracies, we have to be strong and have clear rules." Adding that, "A law will follow in due course."

In the early morning hours inside a cozy Paris boulangerie, big batter-mixing machines are kneading dough for the flaky breakfast pastry that has become a symbol of good French eating. Baker Frederic Pichard says it's no secret how to make a good croissant.

"It takes savoir-faire and of course milk, sugar, eggs and flour," says Pichard. "But the key ingredient is butter. Out of the eight kilograms of dough here, three kilos are butter. More than a third of croissants are made of butter."

Questions about whether a perfect-looking model could possibly be real will soon be answered more definitively in France, where new rules stipulate that some digitally altered images must come with a disclaimer.

French police used gunfire to "neutralize" a man who is believed to have used a car to ram into a group of soldiers on patrol in a Paris suburb early Wednesday — an attack that injured six people. The suspect is now in the hospital, local media report.

Mon Dieu! Burgundy Snails Aren't French Anymore

Jul 27, 2017

In a large, sparsely furnished room at a food processing plant in the town of Migennes, in France's Burgundy region, three employees prepare large snails for packaging. They take the snails' flesh, which is cooked separately, and put them into shells of the right size. They reconstitute about a thousand snails an hour, says Romain Chapron, the director of Croque Bourgogne, the company that owns this plant and sells a couple million snails each year.

It’s Bastille Day! To celebrate the French national holiday, this week we asked some experts on France and the French language about their favorite books.

Share yours with us — or just tell us what you’re reading – by tweeting us @WLRN.

Travis Cohen, writer

There was much pomp and circumstance — and hand-holding, and even a dash of Daft Punk — in President Trump's visit to Paris, as French President Emmanuel Macron used any means possible to embrace and entertain the American leader during his two-day stay.

Trump's visit began Thursday with a trip to Napoleon's Tomb at Les Invalides, where he was given full military honors as he and Melania Trump met Macron and his wife, Brigitte. It continued with the two couples having dinner high inside the Eiffel Tower, and it ended Friday with a parade to mark Bastille Day.

American first ladies have made a tradition of visiting children in hospitals, and on Thursday Melania Trump continued that custom in Paris.

On her first full day in the French capital, the first lady ventured out without the president by her side, spending the morning with a small group of children at Necker Hospital. It is the biggest pediatric hospital in Paris.

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Carolyn Kaster/Reuters

The itinerary for President Donald Trump's trip to Paris is packed with enough grandeur to satisfy even a former pageant king: the Élysée Palace with its huge crystal chandeliers and soaring ceilings, Napoleon's gilded tomb and a pricey dinner at the Alain Ducasse restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

But the highlight? It will no doubt be the military parade along the Champs-Élysées to commemorate Bastille Day.

A man carrying guns and explosives died when he rammed a car into a police van Monday on Paris' famed Champs-Élysées in what officials characterize as a deliberate attack.

But upon collision, the car — and not the van — burst into flames, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris. The man died even though police were able to extricate him from the burning car.

No officers or bystanders were hurt.

In his first major decision, newly inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron has named conservative lawmaker Edouard Philippe as prime minister.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

Emmanuel Macron, a centrist politician who's never held elective office, and Marine Le Pen, the far-right firebrand who wants to take France out of the European Union, are expected to advance to next month's runoff for the presidency of the country, according to official results.

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