Paris | KNKX

Paris

It’s April in Paris, and the chestnuts really are in blossom, reports KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley.

He says the spring and the fall are the best times to visit the capital of France.

They were left on bridges in Paris as tokens of affection. Now thousands of padlocks — many with lovers' names and messages scrawled on them — are heading to the auction block. The city of Paris says it's selling the famous "love locks" to benefit three charities that aid refugees.

The locks are being sold in nearly 200 lots, ranging from small clusters to complete fence grids from the Pont des Arts that weigh more than 1,000 pounds. To prepare them for sale, they've been mounted onto either cobblestone or wooden displays, along with a plaque that identifies their origin.

Paris' Orly airport has been evacuated after security forces shot and killed a man who seized the weapon of a soldier on guard.

All flights are being redirected from the airport, and reporter Jake Cigainero in Paris tells NPR's Newscast that police "have completely evacuated the airport and suspended all traffic."

No one else was injured, according to the French interior ministry.

The BBC's Hugh Scofield says the incident happened around 8:30 a.m. local time. He continues:

An executive assistant suffered minor burns after opening a letter that exploded at the International Monetary Fund's office in Paris on Thursday, according to multiple local news reports citing police statements. The device doesn't seem to have been very powerful — but French officials say it was an act of terrorism.

The mayor of Paris announced Tuesday that she plans to build a camp for migrants and refugees in the north of France's capital.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the camp's exact location would be determined in the next few days and that the facility would be set up within the next six weeks, the BBC reports.

It's after 9 p.m. and Alix Le Bourdon is enjoying a picnic dinner with her family and friends at the Buttes Chaumont park in Paris 19th arrondissement. Usually at this time they'd be rushing to pack everything up before the park guards, blowing their whistle, come through to shoo everyone away and lock the gates.

Every Parisian knows the sound of those whistles that draw the curtain on many a summer night in the park. But not anymore, says Le Bourdon.