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 hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness