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The Big Six: from outdoor Jacuzzis and inky interiors to views of the Eiffel Tower

Rugby Union: France's irresistible elan

France (26) 47 Scotland (13) 20

Foreign Legion patrols Paris

Soldiers from France's famed Foreign Legion are patrolling underground and suburban train stations in Paris as part of the security alert revived after last month's terrorist bomb at Port Royale station. It is the first time that the legionnaires, who began their duties this week, have taken up duties in the French capital.

French go slow over a bridge too far

Anyone from Britain who has driven the spectacular "alternative" route to the South of France, via Clermont-Ferrand, the Massif Central and the partially completed A75 motorway to Languedoc-Roussillon, had two reasons for rejoicing this summer. Plans for the last, key, section of the motorway - a viaduct to bypass the city of Millau - are in their final stages, and the contract for the project has been won by the British firm Foster and Partners.

Arts news

One does not usually think of film studios as trying to kill off their actors, but Sir Alec Guinness seems to be an exception. In My Name Escapes Me: The Diary of a Retiring Actor, published by Hamish Hamilton on Thursday, he reveals a hair-raising escape from death while making The Lavender Hill Mob in 1951.

It starts with a hoax ... it ends in havoc

Time, money, even lives are lost thanks to `nuisance' calls. But malice is not the only reason for them. By Rose Shepherd

Shopping Travel Special: Mugs from Tunbridge, donkeys from Majorca - memories are made of this

I blame the Vikings and Francis Drake. If only the Vikings hadn't been so keen on pillaging and looting when they weren't raping, and Francis Drake hadn't set the fashion of swapping cheap trinkets for gold, the souvenir business would not be in the terminally tatty state in which we find it today. Does anybody know, incidentally, what the difference is between pillaging and looting? Or were the Vikings just being tautological between rapes?

The diary of a wide-eyed boy in France, 1947

In the first of a new series reclaiming summers past, the broadcaster Frank Bough recalls his brief celebrity status when, two years after the war, he was selected to join the World Scout Jamboree in France

It's hot. It's jammed. It's lethal. But as Paris looks south, Mary Dejevsky sings the praises of route A6

Paris - It's that time of year again: summer is in the air and the "great departure" is almost upon us, when the citoyens of Paris pile themselves, their children and their dogs into the family car and set off, hell for leather, down the motorway to seek the sun and the sea or the mountains.

Budget cuts spark strikes on both sides of the Rhine

Both France and Germany seem to be heading for a fresh wave of labour unrest, sparked by threatened government budget cuts to prepare for European monetary union.

Ferris wheel could make millions

The world's biggest Ferris wheel, to be built on the banks of the River Thames to celebrate the millennium, could also turn out to be a big money-spinner, it was revealed yesterday.

It's out there: the art we love and hate

Tempers are already fraying over the plan to build a giant steel angel in Gateshead. It's the same the whole world over, says Jonathan Glancey. From Soviet mother figures to Jesus of Rio, there's nothing we like more than public art to get in a stew about - that's what it's there for

creativity the perfect gift for stirrers who have no tea

It is a little-known fact, universally unacknowledged, Nicholas James explains, that the Pompidou Centre in Paris was made entirely out of molten-down plastic tea-stirrers. He believes that these useful objects (tea-stirrers, not Pompidou Centres) could also be fashioned into circular discs with holes in the middle, and then grooves could be cut in them as a means of recording sound, which would save the compact-disc-ravaged Silicon from extinction.

A long dying ends with a vicious irony

FRANcOIS MITTERRAND 1916-1996
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