Arts and Entertainment French press said that Mr Hollande's affair with Julie Gayet started more than two years ago

Gayet has earned a César nomination for Best Supporting Actress

Book review: Mitterrand. A Study in Ambiguity, By Philip Short

A penetrating study of a president that captures his extravagant complexities

Marine Le Pen comments last night on her party's success

Local election victory for Marine Le Pen's National Front raises fears on both left and right

Mainstream groups concerned that National Front could gain more regional council seats

All smiles: With the Bettencourt affair receding, Mr Sarkozy is ready to plan his return

Can Nicolas Sarkozy stage another comeback? Court ruling clears way for former French president to reclaim his throne

Liberated by a ruling last week that spares him the humiliation of a trial for the alleged fleecing of the ailing nonagenarian billionairess Liliane Bettencourt, Nicolas Sarkozy has been "energised", say his friends. Thus reinvigorated, he intends to rise from the political grave next year and begin a three-year campaign to reclaim the Elysée Palace.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front

Call the National Front far right and we’ll sue you, warns Le Pen

As she surges to new heights in opinion polls, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen has threatened to sue journalists who describe her party as far right.

Hollande driven by personal conviction on Syria

One side of François Hollande explains the other

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault addresses the French National Assembly on Syria

Syria crisis: Deep conflicts surface as French debate military strike

Government accused of hitching itself to an American ‘adventure’ without UN backing

Hollande: 'Reading the interview only increased my determination'

Syria crisis: Assad interview has increased my determination, says France President François Hollande

French President infuriated by 'threats' from Syrian leader - but he may follow Obama's example and wait for a vote

Francois Hollande comes under pressure to allow French Syria vote

President François Hollande came under pressure yesterday to follow Barack Obama and David Cameron and allow a French parliamentary vote on punitive air strikes on Syria.

France ready to play substantial role in Syria air strikes

President François Hollande of France has reaffirmed his intention to play a substantial role in air strikes on Syria – but is under increasing pressure to put the issue to parliament.

President François Hollande: 'The chemical massacre in Damascus cannot go unpunished'

From ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’ to America's new best friends? François Hollande talks tough on Syria after UK backs down

France is ready to join the United States in a retaliatory strike against Syria even though Britain has pulled out, President François Hollande said today.

French opposition to the 2003 Iraq invasion was widely derided in the US, such as at this Boston rally that year

Syria crisis: France is no longer shoulder-to-shoulder with US

‘Cheese-eating surrender monkeys’ again risk American wrath as François Hollande steps back from air strikes

The EU commissioner Olli Rehn said higher taxes would destroy growth

Tax rises in France have reached 'fatal' level, warns EU official

Olli Rehn urges cuts to spending as François  Hollande seeks to reduce deficit

'Terror's advocate' Jacques Vergès dies at aged 88

Jacques Vergès, the flamboyant lawyer who earned the nickname the “Terror's advocate” for his defence of former Nazis, terrorist bombers and notorious dictators and their aides, has died of a heart attack aged 88.

Jacob Rees-Mogg speaks at a dinner for the far right Traditional Britain group

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg gave speech to far-right group Traditional Britain at a dinner

Tory MP addressed group whose Facebook page has called for Doreen Lawrence to be returned to her 'natural homelands' and said Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom is a 'legend' for his 'Bongo Bongo Land' comments

Paul Renaudat, the mayor of Chavannes in the department of Cher in central France, originally told police and a local radio station that he planned to commit suicide if the families refused to leave the village.

'I will kill myself if another caravan arrives in Chavannes': Mayor of French village threatens suicide if 35 traveller families refuse to leave the area

Paul Renaudat's hunting rifles confiscated following comments over traveller dispute

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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
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Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
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Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor