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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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
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