Anne Penketh

Anne Penketh is a freelance journalist and columnist based in Paris. She was posted to Moscow, Paris and New York for AFP news agency before joining The Independent, where she was Diplomatic Editor until 2009.

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The love padlocks have multiplied to damaging levels on Paris bridges

How Paris is trying to wean lovers off bridge locks

'We didn’t want to get into a repressive situation so we’re suggesting a social wall' says City spokesman

Postcard from... La Rochelle

There is a bit of a stink in the historic French city of La Rochelle. Earlier this week, 300 shellfish farmers dumped the shells of oysters, mussels and scallops outside the administrative offices  in protest at what they describe as the general indifference of local politicians to the “slow death of estuary and coastal ecosystems”.

French oyster farmers in places such as Étel, in Brittany, are seeing stocks denuded by disease

Great mollusc meltdown leaves French all at sea

Shellfish farmers are dumping their ruined catches outside town halls over a lack of measures to combat declining sea stocks. But disastrous environmental changes may be out of authorities’ control 

One of the two narcotics officers suspected of taking part in the stealing of over 50 kilos of seized cocaine is escorted by French police

Narcotics officer under investigation after cocaine theft from police HQ stuns France

The missing drugs have a street value of €2m

French police watch over migrants in Calais. Tensions remain high following overnight clashes between rival groups waiting to try and cross the English Channel to Britain

Ethnic riots in Calais as Albanian gangs charge African migrants for access to port area

Eritrean claims that only Sudanese are being allowed into the lorry parks has lead to clashes with sticks, iron bars and stones

Postcard from... Marseille

It was once the Champs Elysées of Marseille, a majestic tree-lined avenue heading east from the Vieux-Port, immortalised in such box office hits as French Connection II.

The stock exchange and the Canebière, circa 1900; the avenue was the centre of café life in this period and has also served as the backdrop for several films

La Canebière, once the pride of Marseilles, now the road to nowhere

Inhabited by the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics, the air is filled with the stench of urine and beer

Actors and technicians on the march against changes made by Hollande

The shows must not go on: now French arts workers strike

Opening performances of the Avignon theatre festival cancelled as actors and technicians walk out
Roma camps near blocks housing other ethnic groups, such as this one in Ivry, a suburb of Paris, have led to hostilities including arson and the near-fatal beating of a Roma teenager last month

France’s unwanted tenants: Fear is part of the Roma's world

At least 20,000 Roma live in France legally, but they survive in shantytowns and are constantly moved on. Anne Penketh reports on the social tensions, and charities’ frustrations

Wojciech Janowski, the son-in-law of 77-year-old late heiress Helene Pastor, leaving a police station in Nice, France

Hélène Pastor murder: Monaco heiress’s son-in-law retracts murder confession

Wojciech Janowski confessed last week to being the 'instigator' of Mrs Pastor’s killing by two hit men, but now claims he didn’t understand some of the legal 'nuances' used by French investigators

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Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits