Property

In the middle of the night, hidden beneath the covers, I start laughing at the idea of anyone else finding out what I'm Googling. No, I'm not funding the dark web, I'm not streaming illegal stuff of any kind, I'm not even shopping for kittens; I'm soothing my troubled insomniac brow on frenchclick.co.uk, gazing at things formerly only purchasable in French supermarkets, now brought all the way across the Channel to my London front door – with no delivery charge on orders of more than £35. (More than £35? Pah. I can spend over £35 on biscuits alone in a French supermarket.)

French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'

French officials have fined a pub in Brittany €9,000 for “undeclared labour” after a customer returned some empty glasses to the bar.

Jean-Marie Le Pen with FN deputy Marion Marechal-Le Pen in November of this year - the former leader of the FN has suggested Romanians are 'naturally' inclined to stealing

French far-right politician Jean Marie Le Pen fined for racist Roma remarks

Jean Marie Le Pen, the former leader of French extreme-right group the National Front, has been fined €5,000 for suggesting Romanians were “naturally” inclined to steal.

More trouble for François Hollande as France is christened the new “sick man of Europe”

President François Hollande is wrestling with a sluggish economy and unemployment at a 16-year high

Munster celebrate after their late victory over Perpignan

Perpignan 17 Munster 18: Last-gasp try from JJ Hanrahan rescues Munster from jaws of defeat in thrilling finish

Perpignan looked to have secured a late win through Tommaso Benvenuti's effort by Hahrahan came off the bench to score with time expired

Car bomb kills two UN peacekeepers in Mali town Kidal

A car bomb has exploded in the Malian town of Kidal, killing at least two UN peacekeepers.

France has called on Britain to 'share' more of the policing and financial 'burden' caused by the pile-up of illegal immigrants in Calais

France calls on Britain to 'share' Calais immigrant 'burden'

The vast majority of the migrants there refuse to apply for asylum in France, as once they do so, they will lose their right to seek asylum in the UK

Aussaresses: he was thought to have lost his eye at war; it was later reported that it was in fact a failed cataract operation

Paul Aussaresses: General who fought in the Algerian war for independence and in retirement was tried for defending the use of torture

Paul Aussaresses was a French army general who in the final years of his life dispassionately revealed the torture techniques he employed during the Algerian war for independence and defended them as appropriate measures in the modern age of terrorism. Aussaresses spent nearly his entire career in the service of his country's military. He was described as a hero of the Second World War and fought in the French Indochina War before being posted to Algeria at the outset of the anticolonial rebellion there in 1954.

French café starts charging extra to rude customers

Manager of La Petite Syrah in Nice says staff were fed up with ‘customers being rude when they’re busy’

Jamie Gibson goes over from close range for Leicester against Montpellier on Sunday

Leicester 41 Montpellier 32: Miles Benjamin delighted to accept French surrender

The English clubs may be turning their backs on the most compelling annual tournament in the union game but at least they are showing the good grace to wait until the end of the season. The French appear to be engaged in a mass skedaddle with two thirds of the campaign still to run. Racing Métro, Perpignan, Toulouse... between them, three of the biggest teams in the country have just made a mockery of the idea that they are still remotely interested in European competition.

Hold on tight: The best clutches to see you through the highs and lows of party season

Clockwise from top left: Mirrored clutch, £39.99, zara.com

High unemployment has provoked protests across France

Vive la black market! One in three French people say they have earned undeclared income this year

Anne Penketh reports on resourceful ways to dodge VAT

Villians
No shortage of controversial owners and chairmen; Cardiff's Vincent Tan may yet end up as one of the more villainous. On the pitch, being loyal Welsh internationals won't spare the likes of Craig Bellamy, Ashley Williams and others from dog's abuse.

Crystal Palace sporting director Iain Moody still waiting for explanation over why he got the sack at Cardiff City

Moody was dismissed by club owner Vincent Tan but he has admitted that he is still waiting for a reason as to why he was replaced by the untried 23-year-old Kazakh Alisher Apsalyamov

A court ruled this week that the lover of the Arpels diamond heiress would have to return money he was left

French big business and the art of the family feud

From usurped diamond inheritances to boards stuffed with rowing cousins, the source of stress in Paris is all relative

Fresh blow for François Hollande as French unemployment hits 16-year high

French president François Hollande’s woes deepened today as unemployment hit its highest level for more than 16 years.

Andrew Sheridan after collecting a runners-up medal at the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final

Andrew Sheridan told that neck injury could end career

Andrew Sheridan's long career at the sharp end of the scrum may be drawing to a close. The England loose-head prop, who played in the 2007 World Cup final and was a Test Lion in South Africa two years later, is suffering from a neck injury and has been told to rest for a month while doctors weigh up his chances of playing again. "Andrew is out, possibly forever," said Bernard Laporte, his coach at Toulon.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor