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A burger and frites from Le Camion Qui Fume in Paris
A burger and frites from Le Camion Qui Fume in Paris
Mathilde Visseyrias

PARIS — At the Ritz palace overlooking the Place Vendôme, the "Ritz Burger" beaufort cheese, fries and a green salad is sold for 42 euros. At the Crillon bar, the chef's mini burgers are sampled until 6 pm, for a cool 28 euros. A longstanding symbol of junk food, the burger seems to have found its nobility: In just a decade, it has earned a seat at some of the most beautiful tables in France, including the Parisian address, Meurice, which The New York Times anointed as the maker of the world's best hamburger.

The burger, which first spread through the United States early last century, has prompted a revolution in the land of baguettes and foie gras: Sales last year exceeded those of the classic jambon-beurre (ham-and-butter) sandwich, a French staple. About 1.46 billion burgers were sold, 9% more than in 2016, according to Gira Conseil firm. Even if this tidal wave of burger sales is driven by an explosion in fast food sales, burgers are now also a must in traditional sit-down French restaurants. The dish is now featured on the menu at some 85% of 145,000 restaurants around the country, with owners opting for what is seen as both a "premium" and easy-to-eat offering.

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War in Ukraine, Day 92: Is Severodonetsk The Next Mariupol?

Russian troops are attempting to encircle Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region, as Vladimir Putin looks to claim victory in a war that is not going Moscow's way. But will the toll be for civilians?

Inside a shelter in Severodonetsk.

Meike Eijsberg, Shaun Lavelle and Cameron Manley

Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk area, is now the focal point of Russia’s war. In 2014, it had been recaptured from the pro-Russian separatists in a hard-fought battle by Ukrainian forces. Now, eight years later, Moscow is launching an all-out attack to try to take it back again.

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Alex Crawford, a Sky News correspondent in the region, says Russian forces have the means to conquer the city that in normal times has a population of circa 100,000 — and Moscow will be eager to cite it as the “victory”. But, Crawford wrote, “the path to victory comes – like the capture of the port city of Mariupol – strewn with the broken and battered bodies of the city's citizens.”

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