Life and Style Fatale attraction: Brigitte Bardot in her youth

As yet another book lauds women across the Channel, Gillian Orr looks at the truth behind Madame Parfaite: extreme dieting and fear of a pressured, fattist society

Eurostar launches probe into new breakdown

Eurostar was investigating its latest embarrassing cross-channel train breakdown today which left more than 700 people stranded in darkness.

Inside Travel: Express routes that bring France closer

Some stunning French destinations now lie within four hours of St Pancras

Eurostar services suspended for third day



The London-to-Brussels services of Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar was suspended for a third day today after the Belgian commuter rail disaster which has claimed at least 18 lives.

Crash sparks train driver strike in Belgium

Train drivers across Belgium went on strike yesterday, saying that a collision that killed 18 people on the outskirts of Brussels had vindicated fears over rail safety.

Eurostar rapped over Channel Tunnel breakdown

The extent of Eurostar failures and the "appalling" conditions hundreds of its passengers endured while trapped on broken-down trains in the Channel Tunnel were highlighted today in an independent report into the pre-Christmas travel chaos.

Eurostar to pay £10m in compensation

Transport Eurostar expects to pay around £10m in compensation for chaos in the Channel Tunnel before Christmas. The money will go to about 100,000 passengers, many of whom were stranded for hours when five trains broke down in the tunnel. In a letter of apology, Eurostar chief executive, Richard Brown, said: "We failed to deliver the standard of service you expect."

Villagers campaign against Kent's giant white horse

When a vast white horse as tall as Nelson’s Column was unveiled a year ago as the art work chosen to become England’s “Angel of the South”, critics eulogised the boldness and beauty of the gargantuan sculpture to be placed on a scrubby Kent hillside towering over the ancient route between London and Dover.

Travellers need true grit in ice-bound Britain

Travelling Britons braved fresh icy blasts today as the severe weather did its best to wreck the country's transport links.

Simon Calder: Keep moving - the lessons for Eurostar

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst: that travel maxim has been especially appropriate this week. Last Saturday hundreds of people woke up (if they had ever managed to sleep) on the floor of a Eurotunnel car-carrying shuttle, a grim dawn that beats even the morning after The Independent office party. They occupied this makeshift dormitory after being among the 2,000 people "rescued" from the five Eurostar trains that were sent into the Anglo-French hole in the ground that devours reputations as effortlessly as it does rolling stock.

Watchdog urges Eurostar improvements after snow chaos

Last weekend's Channel Tunnel travel chaos showed that the set-up of Eurostar and Eurotunnel "does not meet the information needs of passengers", the tunnel's Anglo-French supervisory body said today.

It never snows but it pours for Eurostar

Eurostar, reeling from the worst week in its history, faced a new threat yesterday – a cut-price competitor on the railway route beneath the Channel.

Anger at winter transport chaos

Thousands of passengers on both sides of the Channel were scrambling to get home in time for Christmas last night after Eurostar blamed the closure of their train network on the wrong type of snow.

Thousands stranded as Eurostar service is suspended

Service halted after trains broke down and trapped passengers in tunnel

Leading article: Eurostar was not just a mechanical breakdown

Events in the tunnel raise serious questions about emergency planning

Letters: Climate after Copenhagen

After Copenhagen, we will have to engineer the climate
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve