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The immigration chief in Calais has said the UK has created "a magnet for illegal immigrants."

Rugby Union: Scots bar Benazzi's path to Grand Slam history

Never before has a French Grand Slam coronation taken place on home soil. History beckons, and Parisian pomp and circumstance awaits the 14 Frenchmen who have the honour, and the burden, of carrying the Tricolore into the Parc des Princes' final Five Nations battle this afternoon.

Those other shopping heavens

: While the January sales may represent consumer-goods nirvana for some, genuine shopping obsessives often need to look further afield. The following five cities offer something a little different to the average High Street experience, as well as value for money and a range of goods not necessarily obtainable in Britain:

Travel free to France and we'll pay you pounds 1

Together with Hoverspeed,

Chic and cheerful

Philippa Czernin on the joys of festive shopping in Calais

Driving a hard bargain for British truckers

Talks aimed at ending the French truckers' dispute broke down last night as the main transport union called for a national general strike in support of the lorry drivers.

Travel free to France with THE INDEPENDENT

Planning a trip to France but having trouble getting there? Look no further, The Independent is offering readers the chance to take a day trip to France as a footpassenger and travel completely free, you don't even have to collect any tokens. From as early as Friday this week, you can travel with Hoverspeed from Dover to Calais or Boulogne. The Channel crossings are aboard either Hovercraft or SeaCat, both of which offer duty-free goods.

pounds 11m drugs haul driver charged

A lorry driver has been charged with smuggling drugs with a street value of pounds 11.5m.

P&O acts to beat off Eurotunnel

Ferry firm begins talks with rivals on a joint strategy in Channel war

Tunnel slashes passenger numbers at P&O by 14% numbers at

The urgency of ferry operators reaching an agreement over cross-Channel competition was demonstrated yesterday by figures which show that P&O's passenger numbers fell by 14 per cent in the first half of this year.

In the line of duty

Wine

The museum at the bottom of the garden

Terry Brown visits an unusual French collection

Morton accuses banks over leaks

Eurotunnel and its bankers were in another row yesterday, this time over alleged leaks in Paris of proposals for restructuring pounds 8.1bn of debt.

Hitch-hiker's guide to the Channel

Getting a lift via Le Shuttle is the easy part. Landing in France is another story. By Simon Calder

LETTER:Night train to Milan

Sir: Mr Michael Patterson (letter, 3 April) points out the speed with which one can now get from Milan to London by train. However, a day- long journey with two changes does not equal the convenience of the night services we once enjoyed. Many of us regret the loss of the sleeper train from Calais to Milan, via Basel, with carriages on to Venice or Florence, which seems to have quite disappeared. Can we not have this back again - but now from Waterloo?

Bergen with plenty of relish

Simon Calder strolls through an icy world of misty mountains and persistent trolls on a weekend break in Arctic Norway
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?