Michel Spingler / AP

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the 65-year-old leftist hologramming upstart for the French presidency — branded by NPR as "the French Bernie Sanders" — has vaulted to within striking distance of the race's leaders with just six days to go before votes are cast. Some of his positions:

  • A 90% income tax on salaries above €400,000 while increasing public spending by over €170 billion over 5 years
  • Dramatic renegotiation of EU treaties while leaving a full French exit on the table
  • An exit from NATO, the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank

Why it matters: International coverage has largely centered on a Le Pen-Macron matchup in the runoff, which would pit the centre-left against the nationalist right. They remain the frontrunners, but Mélenchon and embattled right-winger François Fillon both sit just a few percentage points back — close enough that either could surge into the final round.

Go deeper

Ousted former U.S. attorney for SDNY to testify before House Judiciary Committee

Berman in October 2019 in New York City. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is scheduled to testify to the House Judiciary Committee next week on the circumstances of his forced resignation, Politico reports, citing a congressional aide.

Why it matters: As the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Berman oversaw high-profile cases that worried and angered President Trump and his inner circle, including an investigation into his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. His removal has added to allegations by Democrats that Attorney General Bill Barr has politicized the Justice Department under President Trump.

Stimulus outlook takes a hit even as coronavirus cases skyrocket

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic is getting worse, and the question is whether the economic recovery will go with it.

Why it matters: America adding 7.5 million jobs over the last two months pales in comparison to 20+ million lost over the two months prior.

3 hours ago - Health

Texas governor mandates face masks in public spaces

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order Thursday requiring all Texans to wear a face covering in public in counties with 20 or more positive coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: It's a dramatic reversal by the Republican governor that underscores the severity of the outbreak in Texas, which set a single-day record on Wednesday with more than 8,000 confirmed new cases. On June 3, Abbott issued an executive order banning local governments from imposing fines on people who don't wear masks in public.