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The preparations are complete for one of the most widely anticipated French presidential elections in modern times.
After a campaign dominated in its final stage by terrorism after a policeman was shot dead in Paris, the stage is set for a day of voting to determine the country's future direction - and perhaps that of Europe.
After decades where presidents have come from mainstream right and left, this time is far less certain.
The field is such that up to five candidates are hoping realistically to make it through to the final run-off in a fortnight's time.
Pro-EU, anti-EU, far right to far left, newcomers, old hands, survivors of the cull of the mainstream parties' primaries.
They are joined by several more hopefuls looking to make their mark. All have benefitted from election rules that have guaranteed them airtime; all 11 took part in a joint TV appearance last week that quickly became forgotten as news of the atrocity on the Champs Elysees in Paris filtered through.
Since the policeman's murder at the hands of a suspected Islamist extremist, security measures for the election have been reinforced.
The French government is mobilising an additional 7,000 soldiers to patrol alongside the more than 50,000 police and gendarmes already allocated to protect the country's 70,000 polling stations.
Demonstrators turned out in many cities around the world on Saturday to join Earth Day events billed as a "celebration science" - to counter what organisers say is a growing denial of evidence-based knowledge, not least by the Trump administration in the US.
In Europe thousands marched in London, Berlin and other cities in 'March for Science' events accompanied by slogans such as "facts not feelings" and "join the resistance".
The protest was initiated by US scientists acting against the president's proposed cuts to research budgets, as well as his team's scepticism about climate change and the need to slow global warming.
"The ideas that are being suggested by this administration are so dangerous that it almost seems like that their intention is to sabotage us. There isn't even a hint that they have any interest in public welfare or the welfare of the planet," said psychologist Chloe Marie Lucas, demonstrating in Washington.
Wow!!!#sciencemarchsf #marchforscience ScienceMarchDC pic.twitter.com/hNAbRprCZb- March For Science SF (ScienceMarchSF) April 22, 2017
Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017
Hundreds of US cities held rallies, and the demonstrations which started in Australia and Asia also spread to South America.
The protests have been controversial in some scientific circles but organisers defended the march as crucial.
"This demonstration has to do with the fact that the American government has been cutting on funding for science and perhaps most importantly, they have not taken into account the evidence - especially about climate change - when it comes to public policies," said Dr Andres Couve of the Millennium Institute of Biomedical Neuroscience, speaking at a protest in the Chilean capital Santiago.
"So bad, even introverts are here"
March For Science Signs Are So Wonderfully Nerdy https://t.co/rZOArkwe9U pic.twitter.com/gp8U2jr4VY- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 22, 2017
President Trump's proposed 2018 budget calls for deep spending cuts by government science agencies, including a 31 percent reduction for the Environmental Protection Agency.
In the past Trump has described climate change as a hoax stifling policies designed to promote economic growth.
The White House said in a statement that "rigorous science" was critical to achieving "the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection".
I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017
After 26 hours - and over 60 updates - we're wrapping up our global coverage of the #MarchForScience ...for now. https://t.co/gQXjrTvLH0 pic.twitter.com/VMyuj492pU- News from Science (@NewsfromScience) April 23, 2017
A demonstration has been held in Rome for the release of an Italian journalist and human rights activist arrested in detained in Turkey.
Gabriele Del Grande went to the country earlier this month to find material for a book on Syrian refugees in the southeast province of Hatay.
Protesters near the Quirinale palace, the official residence of the Italian president, held banners reading "no gag" and "freedom for Gabriele and for all journalists illegally detained in Turkey".
The 34-year-old has gone on hunger strike after reportedly being held in isolation. No charges have been brought against him.
The Italian consul and Del Grande's lawyer saw him at the detention centre at Mugla on Friday, but no assurance has been given as to his release.
Many journalists are among thousands of people detained or sacked from their jobs in the crackdown since last summer's failed coup.
Human Rights Watch estimates that about 150 Turkish journalists and media workers are in jail, most facing politically motivated charges under terrorism laws.
#Turkey Should Release Detained Italian Writer #GabrieleDelGrande #FreeTurkeyMedia #GazetecilikSucDegildir https://t.co/mFqmvH2aLN- Milena Buyum (@MilenaBuyum) April 22, 2017
The polls have opened in one of France's most unpredictable presidential elections in decades.
The vote comes amid an unprecedented context of security and terrorist threats in France.
Eleven candidates are vying for presidency in this first round of voting.
The top two will face a run-off vote in two weeks time.
A blackout on opinion polls and the candidates or their policies came into force at midnight on Friday.
Some 47 million people are eligible to take part in the ballot.
Polls are now open in France for the first round of voting in the country's closely-fought presidential election- Emma Clark (@emmaclarkuk) April 23, 2017
#BREAKING Voting begins in French presidential election- AFP news agency (@AFP) April 23, 2017
The threat of terrorism was pushed to the top of the agenda in the final hours of the campaigning after a policeman was shot and killed on the Champs-Elysee.
Officials promised tight security during the voting, with more than 50,000 police and other security personnel on duty.
The country has already been under a state of emergency for many months, with soldiers patrolling key public places.
The polls opened at 8am and will remain open until 7pm and 8pm in major cities.
Nine years ago, two US Marines from very different walks of life met for the first time when they were put on guard duty at 7:30 in the morning.
Just minutes later, the pair of Marines guarding a gate in Ramadi, Iraq, were staring down a large blue truck packed with 2,000 pounds of explosives. They could have sought cover, like an Iraqi policeman on the scene who ran away and lived.
Instead, Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale stood their ground. Their split-second choice saved the lives of 50 people.