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. In 1999, he was the UK press Awards Foreign Reporter of the year.

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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

Gendarmes take part in research operations in the area of Grandpre, east of Reims, looking for the alleged kidnapper of 7-year-old girl Berenyss who was abducted on 23 April in Sancy, northeastern France, and found safe 8 hours later in Grandpre, some 120 kilometers away

French nationwide alarm system successful again after missing girl returned to parents

The policy of triggering emergency bulletins on all radio and TV programmes to sound the alert has worked each of the 14 times enacted

Construction of the EPR nuclear reactor in Flamanville, Normandy, is now threatened

UK nuclear strategy faces meltdown as faults are found in identical French project

The faults could also scare off the Chinese state investors who are supposed to cover part of the cost of the £14bn Hinkley project

Arlette Ricci must also pay €6.9m in back tax

'Severe sentence' for Nina Ricci heiress shows that France is winning its war on tax evasion

Tax authorities anticipate that imposing a one year prison sentence on Arlette Ricci will bring more self-declared tax cheats out

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How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
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'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

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Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
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Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
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Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
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Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
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Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent