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Bruce Glikas/Getty Images(PARIS) — Former U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, but “an endorsement was not the purpose of the call,” Obama’s spokesman said in a statement.

However, “President Obama remains deeply committed” to France “as a close ally of the United States and as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world,” Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said.

The French will go to the polls on Sunday for a first-round vote that could be as consequential as the U.K.’s Brexit vote and the election of President Donald Trump.

Lewis said that Obama would not be “making any formal endorsement” before the vote.

A spokesperson for Macron confirmed the call, saying, “Obama talked about his strong links with France and the importance of the ties between the two countries.”

“They also discussed about the future of Europe and the progressive values that they both share,” Macron’s spokesperson said.

Sunday’s vote will see Macron up against 10 other candidates, some with populist, anti-establishment leanings.

Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen are widely seen as front-runners, according to European media reports, and the race is considered very competitive.

Macron, 39, is a former banker who served as his country’s economy minister until 2016.

Le Pen, 48, is a lawyer by training and took leadership of her National Front party from her father in 2011. She is currently a member of the European Parliament.

Le Pen has promised to “put France back in order” by holding a referendum on EU membership, restricting immigration, increasing border controls and giving French citizens a “national priority” for jobs by taxing businesses that hire foreign workers.

If no one among the 11 candidates wins more than 50 percent of the vote, then the top two vote getters will compete in a runoff on May 7.

Analysts say a runoff vote will likely take place.

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Purestock/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Bill O’Reilly could receive a payout as high as $25 million as he exits his role at Fox News, media reports said.

The Financial Times and others reported on Thursday that O’Reilly would receive the sum — “equivalent to one year’s salary” — from 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company.

O’Reilly lost his job as host of “The O’Reilly Factor” Wednesday — while vacationing in Italy — when 21st Century Fox announced that he would not be returning to his anchor chair on Monday.

The announcement marked a remarkable downfall for cable news’ biggest star, who had been dogged by harassment and sexual misconduct allegations since an April 1 investigation in The New York Times. ABC News has not been able to independently verify these claims.

O’Reilly issued a statement on Wednesday after the news of his departure was announced, saying, “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.”

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Givaga/iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — (PARIS) — Police officers were attacked on the Champs-Élysées in Paris this evening, leaving one officer dead, according to French Interior Minister spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet.

A French police union previously reported that two officers had been killed in the incident.

The assailant was killed but has not been publicly identified, a police spokesperson said.

French Interior Minister spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet told local channel BFM TV that a man came out of his car and started shooting at a police car. The attacker tried to run away from the scene and continued to shoot at the police officers while running, he said.

Brandet said that policemen were targeted in the attack. He would not confirm whether the incident was an act of terrorism, saying that the investigation would determine that. Terror investigators are looking into this case, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor who deals with terrorism cases.

A French police union tweeted that an “individual in a car opened fire at a police car stopped at a red light, killing one policeman.”

Un individu, en véhicule, aurait fait feu sur une voiture de police à l’arrêt à un feu rouge abattant un policier.

— UNITÉ SGP POLICE (@UNITESGPPOLICE) April 20, 2017

Paris police posted a tweet telling people to avoid the area around the Avenue des Champs-Élysées without revealing any further details.

A subsequent tweet stated that there was “police intervention underway” in the area but gave no further details.

The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs warned its Twitter followers to avoid the area “after a shooting.”

The Champs-Élysées is a long thoroughfare that has theaters, shops and restaurants and ends with the Arc de Triomphe monument, a major tourist destination.

President Donald Trump shared “our condolences” with the people of France during a joint news conference with the Italian prime minister who is at the White House today.

“It’s a very terrible thing that’s going on in the world today,” Trump said, adding that he thought it was “another terrorist attack,” though there has been no formal confirmation of that at this point.

“What can you say? It just never ends. We have to be strong, we have to be vigilant,” he said.

The incident comes days before the French election, which is to take place Sunday.

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Givaga/iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — (PARIS) — Police officers were attacked on the Champs-Élysées in Paris Thursday evening, leaving two officers dead and at least one other injured, according to a French police union.

The assailant was killed but has not been publicly identified, a police spokesperson said.

French Interior Minister spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet told local channel BFM TV that a man came out of his car and started shooting at a police car. The attacker tried to run away from the scene and continued to shoot at the police officers while running, he said.

Brandet said that policemen were targeted in the attack. He would not confirm whether the incident was an act of terrorism, saying that the investigation would determine that. Terror investigators are looking into this case, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor who deals with terrorism cases.

A French police union tweeted that an “individual in a car opened fire at a police car stopped at a red light, killing one policeman.”

Un individu, en véhicule, aurait fait feu sur une voiture de police à l’arrêt à un feu rouge abattant un policier.

— UNITÉ SGP POLICE (@UNITESGPPOLICE) April 20, 2017

Paris police posted a tweet telling people to avoid the area around the Avenue des Champs-Élysées without revealing any further details.

A subsequent tweet stated that there was “police intervention underway” in the area but gave no further details.

The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs warned its Twitter followers to avoid the area “after a shooting.”

The Champs-Élysées is a long thoroughfare that has theaters, shops and restaurants and ends with the Arc de Triomphe monument, a major tourist destination.

President Donald Trump shared “our condolences” with the people of France during a joint news conference with the Italian prime minister who is at the White House today.

“It’s a very terrible thing that’s going on in the world today,” Trump said, adding that he thought it was “another terrorist attack,” though there has been no formal confirmation of that at this point.

“What can you say? It just never ends. We have to be strong, we have to be vigilant,” he said.

The incident comes days before the French election, which is to take place Sunday.

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Baloncici/iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Princess Kate revealed on Thursday that she, like other parents, has struggled with loneliness during motherhood.

The heartfelt confession was made by Kate, the mother of 3-year-old Prince George and nearly 2-year-old Princess Charlotte, at the opening of a London school that incorporates mental health into its curriculum.

“It is lonely at times and you do feel quite isolated but actually so many other mothers are going through exactly what you are going through,” Kate, 35, told two young mothers who started an app as a meeting place for young moms navigating parenthood. “It is being brave enough, like you obviously were, to reach out to those around you.”

Kate, who attended the school opening with Prince William and Prince Harry, encouraged students and parents to use the support network around them because many parents are facing the same, often overwhelming issues. She also told parents that mental health awareness should begin at an early age.

The Duchess joins @TheGAcademy students producing a radio show on the theme of #MentalHealth pic.twitter.com/qtHZMjB4i5

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 20, 2017

“Start these conversations from a much earlier age but through play, even if their language hasn’t yet developed,” Kate said.

William, Kate and Harry spent the morning discussing mental health at the Global Academy school in Hayes, near London, which also focuses on teaching students skills in the media industry. The royal trio has spent the last week in a high-profile, coordinated campaign encouraging people to open up about mental health.

TRH discuss with @TheGAcademy students and @NickFerrariLBC @JamieTheakston @EmmaBunton @romankemp the importance of talking #MentalHealth pic.twitter.com/yhy7HnFVZ9

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 20, 2017

Harry, 32, revealed that he had to seek counseling and nearly had a breakdown after struggling for years to cope with the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.

“And then [I] started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with,” Harry told the U.K. Telegraph’s Bryon Gordon about asking for help.

William recently disclosed that he too is still recovering from the shocking death of his mother. He also spoke of how he and Kate are raising their two young children.

“Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” Prince William said in an interview with Calmzine magazine.

William, Kate and Harry founded the Heads Together campaign to prioritize mental health and end the taboo and stigma around seeking help for mental health issues. Their year-long campaign culminates this weekend at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon in which a team of more than 700 runners are participating to raise mental health awareness.

All 39,000 @LondonMarathon runners will be given a @Heads_Together headband to join #TeamHeadsTogether and end the stigma on Mental Health pic.twitter.com/kAFCcayvXG

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2017

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Purestock/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — China has placed some of its bomber fleet on heightened alert status, according to U.S. officials, but it is unclear what may have prompted the move. One official said the heightened alert could indicate contingency plans to react to a situation with North Korea, while another official said it is possible that China could be preparing for a military exercise.

U.S. officials told ABC News on Wednesday that China had elevated the alert status of its land attack, cruise missile-capable bombers.

It also initiated maintenance for an unusual number of fighter/bomber aircraft, officials said.

One U.S. official said additional space was also being set aside for aircraft at seven airfields. Another U.S. official said the alert status was not restricted to one particular region of China but spread out across the country.

There were varying opinions as to what may have prompted the heightened alert status. The move comes at a time when tensions on the Korean peninsula are higher. North Korea has continued to engage in provocative behavior that is in defiance of international bans. North Korea has recently launched ballistic missile tests and threatened to conduct its sixth underground nuclear test.

One official said placing these aircraft on a higher alert status could reduce the Chinese Air Force’s response time if they had to react to an incident in North Korea or elsewhere in the region.

Another official said the reason may be more benign: a higher alert status is also sometimes used ahead of a future drill or exercise. This official noted that the seven airfields affected by the higher status are spread out across China and not in the northeastern part of China, which is closest to North Korea.

The official indicated that generally, Chinese readiness statuses will ebb and flow during training cycles.

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Givaga/iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — A French police union says via Twitter that one policeman was killed and another policeman was gravely wounded Thursday evening in an incident near the Champs-Élysées.

Paris police posted a tweet telling people to avoid the area around the Champs-Élysées without revealing any further details.

A subsequent tweet stated that there was “police intervention underway” in the area, but gave no further details about the nature of the situation.

The U.S. State Department warned their Twitter followers to avoid the area “after a shooting.”

The Champs-Élysées is a long boulevard that has theaters, shops and restaurants and ends with the Arc de Triomphe, a major tourist destination.

The incident comes days ahead of the French election, which is to take place Sunday.

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Dimitrios Kambouris/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The woman who remained anonymous when she alleged Bill O’Reilly sexually harassed her publicly revealed her identity today, appearing on ABC’s “The View.” She said she felt
“triumphant” upon hearing that O’Reilly would not return to the airwaves.

Perquita Burgess appeared on “The View” one day after Fox News jettisoned its top-rated host amid allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct by several women.

Burgess said that she was a temporary worker at Fox News in 2008 when she claims the host acted inappropriately towards her.

“Within the first week and a half of working there … he made like a grunting noise,” she told “The View.” “As time went on, I noticed every time he walked past my desk, if no one was around, he
would make that noise.”

“Fast forward to maybe three, four weeks in, we were on the elevator alone coming up to our floor, and he let me off first as gentlemen usually do,” she continued. “As I was getting off the
elevator, he said ‘looking good, there, girl.'”

“One day he walks past my desk … he walks past and says ‘Hey, hot chocolate,'” she said. “I didn’t respond. I was mortified … I took that as a very plantational remark.”

Burgess said that she did not report the behavior at the time because she was not an employee of Fox News. She said that she did not tell her temporary work agency because she didn’t want to damage
the relationship she had with the firm.

Asked why she was speaking out now, Burgess said that she was “tired of reliving the trauma every time I saw a woman speak out, and I wanted to save him from doing it to anyone else.”

“I did not want to,” she said. “I was very afraid.”

O’Reilly’s representative did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

Attorney Lisa Bloom was also present on the set and said that Burgess was not seeking money from O’Reilly. She also noted that the statute of limitations had run out, so Burgess could not seek a
settlement as other women had, even if she desired to do so.

Burgess and Bloom also spoke out against President Donald Trump, who defended O’Reilly in an April interview in the Oval Office, saying, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

Burgess said she felt “mortified” by the president’s remarks.

Bloom went further, saying, “What Trump said is ‘I don’t think he did anything wrong.’ He didn’t say, ‘I don’t think he did it.'”

“He doesn’t think sexual harassment is wrong,” Bloom said. “He’s made that very clear.”

Burgess’ allegations first came to light on Tuesday in a story published by The Hollywood Reporter, which heavily quoted her lawyer Lisa Bloom.

Bloom also appeared on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” on Wednesday and on Thursday.

During the Thursday appearance, she hailed O’Reilly’s departure as “a very important first step,” but said that the network needed “to clean house and show us that they really do respect women.”

O’Reilly issued a statement on Wednesday after the news of his departure was announced, saying, “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is
the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.”

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Malchev/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump singled out Canadian dairy industry trade practices on Thursday, bashing America’s northern neighbor for their rules on imported dairy products.

“In Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said in the Oval Office, without elaborating on what he meant.

The comments came as the President welcomed union leaders, steel workers and CEOs of steel companies for the signing of the memorandum ordering an investigation into steel dumping.

Trump made similar remarks in Wisconsin on Tuesday, calling the dairy trade relationship between the United States and Canada “very, very unfair.”

“We’re also going to stand up for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin,” Trump told the crowd. “I’ve been reading about it and I’ve been talking about it for a long time and that demands, really,
immediately, fair trade with all of our trading partners.”

“That includes Canada, because, in Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others,” Trump continued. “It’s another typical one-sided deal against the United States
and it’s not going to be happening for long.”

Other dairy-producing countries oppose Canada’s current protectionist policies, which include high tariffs on imported milk and cheese products.

Trump then revisited his past, repeated criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it “a disaster for our country.”

“It’s a trading disaster,” Trump said. “We will be reporting back sometime over the next few weeks as to NAFTA and what we are going to do about it.”

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CelsoDiniz/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Twice this week, the U.S. intercepted Russian aircraft off the coast of Alaska after they entered the U.S. military’s Air Defense Identification Zone, according to Defense
Department officials.

On Monday, two Russian TU-95 bombers were intercepted 100 nautical miles south of Kodiak Island by two U.S. F-22 fighter jets and one E-3 AWAC reconnaissance plane from Elmendorf Air Force Base in
Anchorage, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) told ABC News.

It was the first time in more than two years that Russian military aircraft had flown close to the U.S. mainland, according to NORAD.

Then, on Tuesday evening, two more TU-95 bombers flew a path along the Aleutian Islands, heading northeast toward the mainland. An E-3 Sentry reconnaissance plane was dispatched from Elmendorf to
intercept the Russian aircraft. The E-3 accompanied the two bombers for several hours before they turned back just 35 miles from the Alaskan coast, a U.S. official said.

In both instances, the Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace, but they crossed into the U.S. military’s Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, which extends 200 nautical miles
from shore.

What is an Air Defense Identification Zone?

An ADIZ is an airspace over land or water that is monitored in the interest of national security.

Unidentified aircraft are asked to identify themselves while transiting that zone. NORAD, which is a joint U.S.-Canadian military command, will send military aircraft towards unidentified aircraft
that enter the ADIZ in order to “intercept” them.

Intercepts involve the visual identification of the aircraft and radio communications with the pilots.

There are no international agreements governing ADIZs, so they are not regulated by any international organizations.

While the U.S. ADIZ off the coast of Alaska is 200 nautical miles, ADIZs can vary in how much territory they encompass. They always extend past a country’s sovereign airspace into international
airspace.

What is international airspace?

International airspace is just what it sounds like: airspace that is not controlled by any sovereign nation.

According to international law, a country’s airspace corresponds with its territorial waters, 12 nautical miles from the nation’s coastline, so anything beyond that is considered international
airspace.

The ADIZ, therefore, extends into international airspace.

Where are Air Defense Identification Zones located?

The U.S. has four ADIZs. One, called the Contiguous U.S. ADIZ, surrounds the continental U.S. The other three are around Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam.

But many nations have ADIZs, including Japan, South Korea, China, and the United Kingdom.

American military aircraft will sometimes transit through international airspace that is considered to be an ADIZ by another country.

In 2013, China established an ADIZ in the East China Sea that has not been recognized by the U.S., Japan, or South Korea. None of those nations have honored China’s request that military aircraft
provide advance flight plans if they are transiting through the area.

That ADIZ was presumably created to add weight to Chinese claims over the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which Japan also claims as its territory.

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