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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
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10 best PS4 games

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Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

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An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent