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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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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain