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.

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Florida fully lifts coronavirus restrictions on restaurants

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday the state will completely reopen its economy, allowing restaurants at operate full capacity and barring localities from ordering businesses to close.

Why it matters: The state became one of the world's epicenters for the virus in July, forcing DeSantis to pause its first round of reopening.

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Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

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