One of the modern world's earliest republics, France led a major empire covering almost 9 percent of the world's area — spanning Africa, Asia, Europe and parts of Latin America — for more than a century. Today, the country is the world's seventh-largest economy, just behind India, and a major pillar of the European Union. France remains a global leader of culture, arts and the sciences. It receives the most tourists in the world, and in 2018 it won its second soccer World Cup.
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The world's fair has always stoked some wild ideas. Thousand-foot guillotine, anyone?
From the UK to France to South Africa, protesters have called to attention the deaths of their own Black citizens.
Paris has long had a more permissive attitude to its homeless population than other world capitals. The virus is putting that to test.
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