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

Refugees set their sights on Britain

THE FACTORY on the coast at Sangatte used to make equipment for the Channel tunnel. It is now a desolate and cavernous hulk whipped by the North Sea wind. And it is here the young men among the hundreds of refugees gathered in Calais are being penned by French authorities.

France rounds up migrant traffickers

FRENCH POLICE have started an intensive campaign to root out the traffickers in human misery - those who have attracted crowds of illegal migrants to the Channel coast with a promise of a clandestine passage to Britain.

Europe moves to end ferry aid

THE European Commission is planning a campaign to stamp out government aid to shipping and ferry firms, similar to that carried out in the first half of the decade against airlines.

Six nudists to swim the Channel together

SIX BRITISH naturists will tomorrow emerge as nature intended from the chilly waters of the English Channel on to a beach near Calais, writes Mark Rowe.

Afloat on a sea of alcohol, the booze cruisers bid last farewell to duty-free

THE CASUAL observer on P&O Stena's Dover to Calais run yesterday could have been forgiven to think there was some kind of European exodus taking place. Motoring organisations warned of jams on coastal routes while ferries and hovercrafts, many of which were booked solid, warned potential passengers "not to set out unless they had tickets".

`Cheap' deals that were never much of a bargain

DUTY FREE used to be a byword for bargains, but a new survey by The Independent shows that careful high-street shopping can equal or even surpass the VAT-free perk.

Book review: French kisses from Provence's poor sister

Signs of the Heart by Christopher Hope Macmillan, pounds 16.99, 309pp

Clashes as strikers clog Eurotunnel

THOUSANDS OF British holidaymakers suffered a chaotic end to their bank holiday yesterday after French strikers blockaded the Eurotunnel rail link.

Strike halts all Channel traffic traffic stopped

HOLIDAYMAKERS AND truck drivers face the threat of disruption throughout the summer as French transport workers blockaded Channel ports yesterday in protest at EU plans to scrap duty-free shopping.


Daffodils and early blossom announce the end of winter, while just around the corner the Easter holidays are beckoning. How better to get in the swing for spring than with a short break? Rachelle Thackray asked a panel of experts to recommend 50 great getaways, including one or two longer holidays, to suit every personality and every pocket

Football: Non-League Notebook: Wark eyes Wembley

JOHN WARK won a stack of medals during his career with Liverpool, Ipswich and Scotland, but one honour that has so far eluded the 41-year- old is a winner's medal in the FA Carlsberg Vase. That is an omission he might put right this year, if he can help Woodbridge Town beat Thame United in tomorrow's quarter-final tie.

Oscar Wilde, the Burghers of Calais, and now Tom Paine ...

A pressure group wants to honour the great 18th-century radical with a statue. Why now? Robert Butler investigates

Courage at the nocking point

The ancient craft of archery and the deadly art of the bull's- eye can calm the soul, reports Eric Kendall

Travel: Somme fine day ...

Take advantage of northern France's new motorways to explore the quiet coast of Picardy. By Gerard Gilbert

Zoot alors! A fracas in Calais

I WAS privileged last week to be an honoured guest at quite the most delightful wedding. Not only was it an affair of warmth and intelligence, but it gave me the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with Bigelow and Hudson, crusty old retainers of repute. It was Bigelow who took me to one side and appraised me of some quite stunning news.
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Arts and Entertainment
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas