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April 30, 2014

Couples from around the globe descend upon Paris every day, eager to explore one of the most romantic places in the world. Many wind up at the Pont des Arts footbridge, where they write their names on a padlock and then secure it to the bridge. The practice is gaining popularity, and it's not only lovebirds leaving padlocks now, but also families and groups of friends.

This enrages Lisa Taylor Huff, an American living in Paris. Huff decided that the padlocks were an eyesore and "desecrating" the bridges, so she started No Love Locks, a campaign to ban them. She doesn't like the fact that tourists are participating in this practice, which she says is not a French or Parisian tradition.

"There's that adage," she told NPR. "Tread lightly, take only photographs, leave only footprints." The locks are "heavy footprints." So far, no one in Paris' city hall wants to speak on record about the potential ban, or the fact that Huff's petition has already received thousands of signatures.

The padlock trend began in the late 1990s, NPR reports, and Le Monde estimates that there could be 700,000 locks on the Pont des Arts bridge. One of those was placed by Austrian boyfriend and girlfriend Isabella Schauffler and Fabien Hampel, who threw the key to their lock in the Seine. Schauffler is hopeful their relationship will last "as long as the lock remains." With Huff's petition gaining traction, who knows how long that will be. --Catherine Garcia

2:58 p.m. ET

In a surprising move, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire media executive and the former mayor of New York City, will endorse Hillary Clinton for president, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg left the Democratic party in 2000 to become a registered Republican. Earlier this year, he was considering his own presidential run as an independent. While Bloomberg disagrees with Clinton on a variety of subjects, including gun control and immigration, the Times reports he is dismayed at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, and believes Clinton to be a "far better choice," said Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg adviser.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg will make his case for Clinton on stage at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, alongside other convention headliners like President Barack Obama, and Clinton's VP pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The hope, it seems, is that Bloomberg's endorsement will speak to undecided moderates. "As the nation's leading independent and a pragmatic business leader, Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle," Wolfson told the Times. Jessica Hullinger

2:28 p.m. ET
JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Froome won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Briton to win the race three times. After 89 hours, six minutes, and one second in the saddle over the race's 21 stages, Froome, 31, crossed the finish line in Paris almost three minutes before his closest rival. He won in 2015 and in 2013, and is only the eighth man to three Tours under his belt. Jessica Hullinger

10:39 a.m. ET
NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee said Sunday that it will not completely ban Russia from competing at the Rio Olympics, Reuters reports. Instead, the IOC is putting the responsibility of deciding who can compete in the Games on the bodies that govern the individual sports.

The announcement comes after an independent report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping among Russian Olympic athletes. Competitors will need to meet a set of criteria to demonstrate they are clean, and anyone who has previously been caught doping will not be allowed to compete. Jessica Hullinger

9:09 a.m. ET
Johannes Simon/Getty Images

German authorities say the gunman who opened fire at a Munich shopping center on Friday, killing 9 people and injuring 35 more, planned the attack for a year. On Sunday, Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state criminal police office, said 18-year-old David Sonboly left a manifesto on his computer. "He appears to have planned this act since last summer," Heimberger said. "He completely occupied himself with this act of rampage."

In planning his attack, Sonboly, who authorities say was "obsessed" with mass shootings, visited the site of a previous school shooting and took pictures, The Associated Press reports. In 2015, Sonboly spent two months as an inpatient at a mental care facility, where he was treated for depression and a fear of contact with other people. He killed himself after the attack. Jessica Hullinger

7:49 a.m. ET

On Sunday morning, Donald Trump, or whoever was running his Twitter feed, went on a rampage against Hillary Clinton's decision to pick Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as her vice presidential nominee. Embedded amongst a flurry of exclamation points and all-caps accusations of "BAD JUDGMENT" was an error that's sure to needle grammar snobs: Where Trump should have used "their," he used "there" instead. And in the same breath — er, keystroke — instead of "waste," he used "waist."

Cringe!

Then again, what more do we expect from a presidential candidate who researchers say has the grammatical sophistication of an 11-year-old?

Update at 8:20 a.m.: The above tweet has been deleted and replaced with a corrected version. Jessica Hullinger

7:24 a.m. ET

I know, I know. You miss Game of Thrones. And the recent news that season seven won't air until summer 2017 is probably only adding to your despair. But if you need a quick fix, this is it: HBO released a blooper reel from season six, and it is delightful. Let it be known: Dothraki is hard, but the word 'benevolent' is even harder. Watch below. Jessica Hullinger

6:51 a.m. ET
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Mary Commanday, the mother of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, has asked that the Donald Trump presidential campaign stop referencing her son in attacks on Hillary Clinton. In a letter to The New York Times, Commanday wrote, "I know for certain that Chris would not have wanted his name or memory used in that connection. I hope that there will be an immediate and permanent stop to this opportunistic and cynical use by the campaign." Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the attacks, which featured prominently at the Republican National Convention last week in speeches criticizing Clinton's leadership skills. Jessica Hullinger

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