News Avenue Foch is home to billionaires including the families of dictators

Spectacular proposal brings race to become city's next mayor to life

Ring bells and blow kisses to freedom: Paris was liberated 50 years ago tomorrow. Antony Beevor and Artemis Cooper tell the story

ON THURSDAY 24 August 1944, Paris began its last day under the Occupation. General Philippe Leclerc's Second Armoured Division was fighting its way into the western suburbs to save the uprising of the Resistance which had started five days before.

The headmaster who liberated Paris: Jonathan Foster recalls the bizarre wartime adventure that took a lieutenant in the Royal Signals and his friend into the French capital 36 hours ahead of the liberators

THE FIRST liberators of Paris brought a freedom breakfast with them, corned beef al fresco served informally by a Scouser, with cigarettes to follow.

Jewels in the city of light: Simon Calder savours some of the best of what Paris has to offer this summer

Half of Paris is being dug up with a sense of timing which suggests a 'let's annoy the tourists' attitude, and some of the locals are almost gleefully unhelpful. But Londoners continue to return to the city with an almost childlike enthusiasm.

Travel: The Orly flight gets there late: Charles de Gaulle won the Great Air Race, beating its rival Paris airport, says Simon Calder

A magical summer morning in the French countryside, the pale sun anointing the misty fields with pastel specks of light. Unfortunately I am watching this entrancing scene through the window of a bus, wending its tardy way across the pastoral fringes of an international airport, and my plane is due to leave in two minutes. The Great Paris Air Race is not going very well.

Obituary: Peter Graves

Peter George Wellesley Graves, actor: born London 21 October 1911: succeeded 1963 as eighth Baron Graves; married 1960 Vanessa Lee (died 1992); died Paris 6 June 1994.

Rallying: Reduced entry to Arc: Paris-Dakar celebrations curtailed

ONLY seven of the 100 drivers expected to finish the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally will enjoy the anticipated celebratory drive along the Champs-Elysees around Place de la Concorde and under the Arc de Triomphe tomorrow morning.

Plan Ahead: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

FRANCE'S most prestigious horse race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, is traditionally held on the first Sunday in October, and the two-day meeting at Longchamp in Paris, is the most important in the French calendar.

Architecture: That old Paris embrace amid the new brutalism: Mitterrand's Grande Arche, criticised as heartless, attracts lovers and tourists alike, writes Jonathan Glancey

CRAIG EASTON'S photograph portrays love a la mode on the steps of President Mitterrand's Grande Arche at La Defense, the brutalist business core of modern Paris.

Christmas decorations on the Champs Elysees

Christmas decorations on the Champs Elysees brighten the drive to the Arc de Triomphe.

Climbing: When the rock is a hard place: Upwardly mobile climbers are being kept in the dark. But all in all it's just another trick in the wall. Patrick Miles reports

THERE are certain mystical qualities to indoor climbing, a sport that has grown in leaps and bounds since men raced to be the first to the summit of Napes Needle in the Lake District in 1886 - the event regarded as the birth of competitive mountaineering.

Racing: Make way for Armiger

ATTITUDE can be everything. And when it's coupled with ability the sky is the limit. That's why Armiger is heading for the stars.

Racing: Fired by stardust memories: Magic Night is an unlikely glory-seeker in today's Arc. Brough Scott reports

SHE'S no oil painting, and to judge from the amateur effort he showed us on Friday, Philippe Demercastel is no Rembrandt either. But the trainer and his freak filly Magic Night have long since left the canvas for the stratosphere of dreams. This is the mother of all Cinderella stories.

BOOK REVIEW / Luckless in London: 'Dunedin' - Shena Mackay: Heinemann, 14.99

SHENA MACKAY'S ambitious novel begins and ends in New Zealand, in the first decade of the century. Jack Mackenzie, a Presbyterian minister and would-be botanist, arrives in Dunedin with his wife, Louise, their two young children, Sandy and Kitty, and a servant girl, Lilian. Jack has come from Scotland to replace the Reverend Craigie, who has recently died in a thermal pool at Rotorua, after trying to rescue his beloved Jamesina, who stumbled into the boiling mud. 'Whatever the cause of the disaster, the Craigies were dealt with as cruelly and efficiently as a pair of lobsters in the hands of a chef.'
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
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