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.

Beckham highlights England's talent void

Soon David Beckham will be presented with his 100th cap that, in a pale imitation of the World Cup trophy he has never won, will be golden rather than blue. After the team's elimination from Euro 2008, English football has become so desperate they are inventing trophies to award to themselves, like those Soviet bloc nations who boycotted the 1984 Olympic s and earnestly held their own games instead, in which the international Communist brotherhood was assured of all three medals.

French dressing: France's first lady arrives in Britain

Carla Bruni, the supermodel now married to France's President, cut a surprisingly demure and understated figure yesterday when she arrived in Britain. By Carola Long

Sarkozy uses state visit to praise Britain

President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a cross-channel charm offensive today amid the pomp and politics of a full state visit.

Leading article: A partnership that could reshape the Continent

The state visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy to Britain will be marked by much ceremonial glitter. Over the next 48 hours, the president and the almost equally famous Mme Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will take tea with the Queen, ride in state carriages through the streets of Windsor and attend two official banquets.

What will Sarah Brown make of supermodel First Lady Carla?

At first sight, the French First Lady may seem to have little in common with the wife of the British Prime Minister.

Yasmina Reza on writing a play that can rival ‘ART’

Having effectively skewered Nicolas Sarkozy, the playwright Yasmina Reza returns to the West End with a bleak and brutal drama. She talks to Alice Jones

French first lady speaks out

The French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, made her debut as a commentator on current affairs in the august columns of Le Monde yesterday.

Private detective use soars as spouses spy on partners

The number of suspicious partners hiring private investigators to set up honey traps for their spouses surged last year as a string of celebrity divorce cases shone an uncomfortable spotlight on a business that usually remains shrouded in secrecy.

Why have an affair if the mistress looks like the wife?

The New York Times is sticking to its story. John McCain is sticking to his. They say he had a romantic relationship with a lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, as he worked on his first presidential campaign eight years ago. He says "it's not true". Mrs McCain says she's "very, very disappointed". But what everyone else wonders is, why would he bother?

Bruni 'sorry' for comparing critics to anti-Semitic collaborators

The new French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, apologised yesterday for comparing a magazine website to French collaborators who "denounced Jews" during the 1939-45 war.

John Lichfield: President Sarkozy's new philosophy for the world

Whatever his ex-wife may say about him, you have to admire Nicolas Sarkozy's energy and cheek. Not only has he found himself, in record time, a glamorous new wife-to-be. He has also invented a new political ideology which will (he says) set France, and the world, on a rational course towards the salvation of the human race.

Sarkozy married, reports claim

A French newspaper reported yesterday that President Nicolas Sarkozy might have married his new girlfriend Carla Bruni last week, but the mother of the former Italian supermodel said she was unaware of any secret nuptials.

Joan Smith: Sarkozy struts in Napoleon's clothes

France's taste for the flamboyant is being severely tested as the President shows off his trophy girlfriend Carla Bruni

Sarkozy's ex-wife fails to halt book

President Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-wife lost a legal battle yesterday to stop publication of a book in which she allegedly called him a "womanizer" and other choice epithets.

Katy Guest: Why can't people who are ill stay off work?

A couple of years ago, a cold remedy manufacturer ran a series of Tube station adverts promoting their hot lemon drink. "Question:" they ran. "What kind of person would go to work with flu? Answer: the kind of person who's after your job." It wasn't exactly aspirational advertising, but it contained just the right blend of machismo and blind paranoia to get the workforce gulping down paracetamol and hauling into the office to spread their germs. It lent a whole new layer of meaning to the term "affluenza".

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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

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Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

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But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
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Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

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The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
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Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

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Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
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Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence