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Notre Dame's altar surrounded by charred debris. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Notre Dame was 30 minutes from collapse last night, but today she stands, far more intact than we'd expected after yesterday's fearsome fire.

The latest: French President Emmanuel Macron said, "We will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral within 5 years and "it will be more beautiful than before." There's already been $680 million pledged, including a few huge chunks from wealthy French families.

Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP/Getty Images

Between the lines: "Experts say the combination of a structure that’s more than 850 years old, built with heavy timber construction and soaring open spaces, and lacking sophisticated fire-protection systems led to the quick rise of flames," the AP reports.

There'll be a tense wait to see if certain priceless artifacts survived the flames.

  • Saved: The crown of thorns, the tunic of Saint Louis, the twin bell towers, the rose windows, the Great Organ, rooftop statues representing the 12 apostles and 4 evangelists.
  • Lost: Notre Dame's wooden latticework roof called "The Forest," made of hundreds of oak beams cut from trees between 1160 and 1170, and the spire, built in the 19th century amid a renewed restoration effort.
  • Unconfirmed: The Gallery of the Kings, which includes statues sculpted in the 13th century and later beheaded in 1793; relics of St. Denis and St. Genevieve, which were held in the spire; a nail believed to have been used in the crucifixion; a piece of wood believed to be a piece of the cross.

The bottom line: "We're all just dumbfounded. It's more than miraculous, it's heroic,' vicar general Philippe Marsset said, per the AFP.

Before and after
Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Above: People attending mass at Notre Dame last year, and the same view today.

Below: The heart and transept at Notre Dame last year, and the same view today.

Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

6 hours ago - Health

CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the messaging around the COVID-19 pandemic and changing guidance should have been clearer.

State of play: Walensky is being coached by media experts and is planning to have more press briefings by herself in order to ensure that CDC is seen as an independent, scientific entity, rather than as a political one, the Journal reports.