John Lichfield

John Lichfield has been The Independent's man in Paris since 1997, covering French news. Before that, he was the paper's Foreign Editor and he has also worked in Brussels and Washington.

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Picture released on March 27, 2015 shows the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 Andreas Lubitz taking part in the Airport Hamburg 10-mile run on September 13, 2009 in Hamburg, northern Germany. Co-pilot of the Germanwings plane which crashed in the french Alps, Andreas Lubitz, told Lufthansa in 2009 of 'previous episode of severe depression' the airline reported on March 31, 2015.

Germanwings crash: Andreas Lubitz practised a controlled descent five times on previous flight

Black box reveals co-pilot repeatedly put Airbus A320 on collision course but cancelled instructions before anyone could tell

File photo: President François Hollande speaks with senior French politicians

Politician and 'friend of President Francois Hollande' said he only 'liked journalists with big breasts', claim French female reporters

40 political reporters said it was time to end the 'lascivious paternalism' to which they were routinely subjected to in the French corridors of power

Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, with her father, Jean-Marie

Jean-Marie Le Pen suspended as Front National's president of honour after refusing to attend disciplinary meeting over Nazi remarks

Mr Le Pen says it is below his 'dignity' to be disciplined by the party he founded

The Rafale has been second best to its American rivals and to the part-British “Eurofighter” or Typhoon

France sells 24 Rafale warplanes to Qatar

The aircraft has been losing out since the turn of the century to American rivals and to the part-British 'Eurofighter' or Typhoon

Harvest in Normandy, where a cut-price land sale has put a small village on the map

For sale: a little piece of France for £740 - how a mayor's offer put Normandy village Champ du Boult on the map

The town hall is getting 200 enquiries a day, where previously the plots had received just two enquiries over eight years

Given the choice, many French children will opt to learn Spanish, Italian or Russian over German

French Education Minister sparks diplomatic situation with Germany by proposing to abolish 'two-language' classes for 11-year-olds

German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes the political friendship between the two countries will never be complete unless more youngsters from both nations speak both languages - and will raise the subject with French President François Hollande

Postcard from... Normandy

Oh, to be in Normandy now that April’s here. The apple trees are a mass of blossom. The finest grassland in the world is enamelled or, according to your taste, disfigured by the yellow splashes of rape fields.

Former Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and his wealthy wife Jany in 2012

French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen accused of holding £1.4m in undeclared Swiss bank account

If proven, the allegations could be devastating politically for the Front National's controversial 'president of honour', and highly embarrassing for his daughter, Marine, who replaced him as party leader

Alain Juppé is concerned the name change would help his political rival

French centre-right in revolt over Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to rename UMP as Les Republicains

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy faces a new obstacle to his return to power: growing opposition to his attempt to rename his centre-right party “Les Républicains”.

The Grand Palais in Paris will be transformed into a 4,000-seat cinema, with 44 double beds at the front

A summer of cinema and champagne in the city of love

From floating down the Seine to lying in a double bed, there are all suddenly sorts of novel ways to watch films

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'