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.

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 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.

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.

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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

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Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin