News French actor Gerard Depardieu poses with people from Estaimpuis during a ceremony held in his honor at the Chateau Bourgogne

Mayor of Estaimpuis credits French star with boosting the economy, creating jobs and bringing new visitors to the small corner of Wallonia

Paradise in a rainstorm

For those who make the journey to wet, wind-swept Wester Ross the rewards lie in a feast for the eye matched only by the promise of the menus. By Andrew Marr

There is a green hill, not very far away

There's 11 of them, and they're all mountains over 3,000ft. As St Patrick's Day approaches, Jeremy Seal discovers the joys of bagging Ireland's 'Munros'

Hotel grades made easy

The English Tourist Board yesterday announced the adoption of a single five-star ratings system for hotels in a move aimed at ending years of confusion over the quality of rooms and services. The system, using the internationally recognised five stars, will cover all hotels with a similar scheme for bed-and-breakfasts, guesthouses, farmhouses and inns. It takes into account the quality of accommodation, yet emphasises the facilities provided, offering a single integrated star rating, and is due to be launched in 2000,

Letter: Wrong island

Readers who follow the travel directions from Rarotonga to Aitutaki by setting sail in a fragile canoe "across a wondrous lagoon" will almost certainly not arrive ("Castaway Islands", Review, 12 January). As Rarotonga is a volcanic, rather than a coral island, it has no lagoon, only a coral reef. And as Aitutaki lies hundreds of kilometres away, the normal mode of transfer is in a great white bird, not a canoe. Once they arrive, intrepid readers may be disappointed to discover that they share this "uninhabited island" with hundreds of permanent residents, plus of course, the tourists who inhabit the luxury hotel, the many guest houses, and Rikki's Crusher Bar.

British woman killed in raid

A British-born woman and her four-year-old daughter have been stabbed to death in South Africa.

Blots on the horizon

Proposals to scrap restrictions on rural advertising hoardings will change the face of the countryside.

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW: Karen Jones: Premium price for the cafes that painted the town rouge

The managing director of Pelican Group talks to Tom Stevenson

MPs and the great British seaside holiday

From my eyrie in the press gallery I looked down upon a scene of devastation and civil strife. Scottish Labour MPs gurgled obscenities about referenda and consultation. Grey-haired Welshmen wept for the future of their Assembly. Here and there rebellious spirits huddled together to mutter about fascism in one party, echoing Ken Livingstone's comparison between Benito Mussolini and Antonio Blair.

A tiny Paris on the Coromandel coast

Pondicherry in south India was French territory for 300 years. You can still eat steak frites there.

City Diary: Warburg kicks the ball around with bets on euro

Economists at SBC Warburg have clearly had a bit of time on their hands recently. They have turned their thoughts to the impending European football championships, weaving in a dash of political and economic comment on all the participating nations. It is all neatly packaged in the bank's newly published Euro'96 Special.

Gunman in hospital as nation mourns

Tasmania massacre: Psychological problems of arrested man revealed as eye-witnesses describe rampage that left 34 dead

Gunman leaves a tableau of death

Tasmania massacre: Witnesses describe rampage that left 34 dead, and describe mentally-ill suspect's love of firearms

THE SUZI FEAY COLUMN: White knuckled on the pleasure beach

THERE'S a blonde woman in the Blackpool Sea Life Centre wearing a Kiss-Me-Quick Hat. She's with a bronzed gent dressed all in white - that's bronzed as opposed to wind-whipped - and together they're adding a lubricious undertow to the teenage guide's glib patter. She holds out her hand and rubs the exposed snout of an affectionate ray while her companion sniggers in her ear. These two are a slightly younger version of the couples we see boosting up and down the sea-front in whacking great cars. At pavement level the old folks parade around, lagged like ambulant boilers. Why do so many of them end up in squally Blackpool? Perhaps they are forced by their offspring, who hope thereby to clip a few years off their span: "You're retiring to Blackpool, Mam and Dad!" "Oh, but we like it here in Jersey ..."

No place to call home

This is Shelter Awareness Week. Mary Braid went to Skegness to spend a day with a family at the bottom of the housing pile
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and the Astana Pro Team races to fourth place in the individual time trial
tour de franceas fourth place in time-trial sees him ride to Paris glory on Sunday
Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Career Services

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
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride