Ruling party officials say new measures are needed to counter increasing security threats, but critics say France's President Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to change the subject from a series of scandals that have rocked his presidency.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said his country was at war with Al Qaeda after the group's affiliate in North Africa, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, announced it murdered a French aid worker it had held hostage since April.
After a lackluster 2009 edition, this year's Tour de France was filled with action, from the cementing of Contador and Schleck's rivalry to Armstrong's bumpy exit from the sport he dominated in unprecedented fashion.
Tour de France Stage 18 was won by Briton Mark Cavendish in a close finish. But overall race leader Alberto Contador maintained his eight-second lead over Andy Schleck. In Saturday's sprint, Schleck will take one last run at Contador.
In the Tour de France's Stage 17 today, defending champion Alberto Contador hung with rival Andy Schleck up the race's most iconic climb, the Col du Tourmalet. French President Nicolas Sarkozy cheered their effort from the festive sidelines.
Mountain stages like the Tour de France's Stage 17 today, which could decide the battle between defending champion Alberto Contador or rising star Andy Schleck, are favorites among spectators.
In Stage 16 of the Tour de France today, Lance Armstrong attacked on the final climb – dusting the two men vying for the overall win, Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck, by nearly seven minutes.
Tour de France Stage 15: Alberto Contador won the yellow but some say he committed a breach of race etiquette by attacking in the last climb of Stage 15 just as race leader Andy Schleck's chain popped off.
Wearing the yellow jersey, which indicates the overall leader in the Tour de France, confers power in the peloton – the pack slows if he has to make a pit stop – and financial gain.
Two-time winner Alberto Contador bumped Andy Schleck out of the lead during the Tour de France Stage 15 today. But fans whistled with displeasure at Contador, who attacked when Schleck's chain fell off.
Alberto Contador tried rapid acceleration and sudden braking in an attempt to drop the Luxembourger, Andy Schleck, during the Tour de France Stage 14. But Schleck didn't take the bait.
Alberto Contador today shaved 10 seconds off the lead of Andy Schleck in the Tour de France Stage 12. Lance Armstrong's Team RadioShack took the overall team lead.
Tour de France Stage 11 finished in a wild sprint, with Mark Cavendish claiming his third stage win. But his HTC-Columbia teammate was disqualified for head-butting another rider.
French cycling has taken a hit from rising costs and competition from sports such as basketball. A Frenchman has not won the Tour de France in more than two decades.
The Tour de France Stage 10 was won in a sprint by Portugal’s Sérgio Paulinho. Meanwhile, his RadioShack teammate Lance Armstrong fell another two minutes behind overall leader Andy Schleck.
After Stage 8 of the Tour de France took Lance Armstrong out of the race, two other possible contenders – Cadel Evans and Carlos Sastre – lost critical time. Now it's a race between defending champion Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to address allegations that his campaign received $190,000 in illegal campaign contributions from France's richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
American cyclist Lance Armstrong got caught up in three crashes and finished Tour de France's Stage 8 13 minutes and 26 seconds behind new race leader Cadel Evans of Team BMC.
The yellow, green, red polka dot, and white jerseys worn by cyclists in the Tour de France represent the best competitor in different categories. The standings can change from day to day, especially early in the race.
Mark Cavendish burst into the lead in the final few hundred meters for an exciting end to Stage 6 of the Tour de France. American Tyler Farrar finished second. Tomorrow brings the first mountain stage.
This year's Tour de France is considered one of the toughest in years, including two ascents of the notorious Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenées.
This year's Tour de France is considered one of the toughest in years, more than 300 miles longer than last year.
Jean-Louis Pagès, a bespectacled former geography professor, spends nearly half the year on the road scouting future Tour de France towns – incognito. He already has a folder on his BlackBerry for 2015 possibilities.
The obvious pick for the 2010 Tour de France winner is last year's victor Alberto Contador. But youngster Andy Schleck, a consummate climber, could do well on this year's especially hilly course.
British cyclist Mark Cavendish won Stage 5 – his first stage win – of this year's Tour de France after a bumpy start to the 2010 season. Lance Armstrong stands 18th, two minutes and 30 seconds behind the leader after 613 miles of racing.