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
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?