News The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is threatening legal action after an online petition asked her to repay nearly €410,000 (£354,000) used to fund her website while her husband was President.

Cannes confidential: A critic's-eye view of the festival news

Scandal, glamour, satires on the Pope and Sarkozy, lost masterpieces and the usual suspects: it's all go on La Croisette

George Michael takes steps to put record straight on gay lifestyle

George Michael will record a new album with a "collective" of gay musicians, aimed at a young gay audience, as an apology for the homophobia that he believes his turbulent private life has inadvertently generated.

Cannes Diary: From disgraced D-listers to ex-drug dealing singers, festival embraces them all

One of the less glamorous guests on the Croisette will be the disgraced pop producer Jonathan King, sentenced to seven years in prison in 2001 for sexually assaulting five teenage boys, and now reinventing himself as a film producer.

Cannes star prize 'up for grabs'

The ultimate prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival is "up for grabs", according to Robert De Niro.

Cannes asks if a Bruni bump is keeping star away

The French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, said yesterday that she would miss the opening of the Cannes film festival today for "personal and professional" reasons – re-igniting speculation that she is pregnant.

Leading article: Stranger than fiction

The British have been confusing fact and fiction about political leaders since the days of Shakespeare. But it's a new experience for the French, who are all agog at the first biopic ever made about a contemporary politician. La Conquête tells the story of a stack-heeled Nicolas Sarkozy plotting to become president, fretting about his height and using language distinctly lacking in politesse to describe his opponents. His wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is said to fear that the film may turn him into an international laughing stock.

Cannes: May in the Midi promises plenty of fun – so cue mayhem, murder...and Mia

Cannes – beaches, bouillabaisse and bonhomie?

The heart of a capital city beats in Turin

This place likes to fuss over anniversaries of the unification of Italy. This year, the 150th, is no different. Adrian Mourby reports

The Hedonist: French Alps

What to see and where to be seen

Sex and the Speaker: Bercow's wife puts her foot in it again

It was an eyebrow-raising episode even for someone who tends towards self-promotion. The wife of the Speaker of the Commons, talking about her husband's renewed sexual vigour – while posing draped only in a sheet.

Westminster is sexy says Mrs Speaker

Sally Bercow, wife of House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, has risked controversy again by describing the "aphrodisiac" effect of their life at the Palace of Westminster.

Under the mistletoe at the Elysée Palace

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy looked delighted to be treated to a kiss from a stranger at the annual Christmas party in the Elysée Palace in Paris yesterday. Coming from one of the child attendees, however, her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, had no cause for jealousy.

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
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
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

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