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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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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker