On April 15th, France lost part of one of its most iconic buildings — Notre Dame Cathedral. However, fundraising efforts for the rebuild began quickly, and now there are several design firms competing for the job.

France also opened the bidding up to international designers, and that really fanned the flame of the competition. Within the past month, grand design plans have been pouring in, and some of the most interesting ones go beyond historical restoration to directly address one of the world's greatest challenges — climate change.

Hey, the Paris Agreement doesn't have to be the only innovative green initiative in France, right?

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Heroes

Yesterday, millions of people all over the world watched as one of the most iconic buildings in history went up in flames. Today, they sprung into action.

Whether you'd never seen the cathedral in person or had walked by it everyday of your life, it was a devastating event to witness. And while many are still in mourning over the loss of Notre Dame's grand spire, many others are already making a plan to restore the cathedral to its former glory.

Unsurprisingly, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, ever the activist, was one of the first to pledge himself to the task. "This Notre-Dame Cathedral, we will rebuild it. All together. This is part of our French destiny. I am committed to this: from tomorrow a national subscription will be launched, and far beyond our borders," he wrote on Twitter (translated into English).

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Defending students' Mike Pence walkout using the words of ... Mike Pence.

If you're searching for a defense of the students' actions, look to Pence's speech.

On Sunday, a group of about 150 students walked out during Vice President Mike Pence's commencement address at the University of Notre Dame.

Conservative outlets blasted the silent protest as a form of intolerance to opposing views and an affront to free speech. But according to Mike Pence's own speech, that actually couldn't be further from the truth.

Photo by Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP.

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