News Valérie Trierweiler with her partner, François Hollande

The President’s official companion has told a French journalist that she is aware that some sort of official statement needs to be made

First Night: La Conquête, Cannes International Film Festival

A portrait of shameless ambition rewarded

Vodun: African Voodoo exhibition - picture preview

Vodun:African Voodoo is an exhibition of the amazing private collection of Voodoo art collated by African and tribal art expert Jacques Kerchache.

French judge delays Jacques Chirac trial

The trial of former President Jacques Chirac on corruption charges was suspended for at least three months today – raising doubts about whether the case will ever come to court.

Chirac excused from first day of public embezzlement trial

The trial of the former French president Jacques Chirac for misuse of public funds began yesterday, but proceedings were promptly delayed by an appeal from a co-defendant, which could see the trial postponed for months.

Jacques Chirac corruption trial opens

A long-awaited French corruption trial has opened with former President Jacques Chirac as the star defendant.

Chirac faces corruption trial that threatens to leave his legacy in tatters

France's ex-President is finally due in court, accused of embezzling €2m to further his career. So why is he still such a popular figure?

Former French President Chirac to stand trial

After years of claiming presidential immunity to avoid legal proceedings, Jacques Chirac is finally facing a court.

Jack Straw suggested 'facilitation' days before Iraq invasion

Former foreign secretary Jack Straw today described how, just days before the invasion of Iraq, he advised Tony Blair that they need not necessarily send in British troops with the Americans.

Chirac denies Alzheimer's claim

The former president Jacques Chirac yesterday denied rumours that he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Chirac lawyers to cite Alzheimer's in attempt to postpone fraud trial

Former French president Jacques Chirac may have Alzheimer's disease – raising doubts over his capacity to face a corruption trial next month – a Paris newspaper said yesterday.

Marine Le Pen elected French far-right leader

France's far-right National Front party elected Marine Le Pen as its new leader and likely presidential candidate yesterday, replacing her 82-year-old father Jean-Marie Le Pen, a source close to the party said.

America's real special relationship

President Obama has caused a stir by saying that the US has 'no stronger ally' than France. John Lichfield asks: why all the fuss?

Kremlin 'must have known' about plot to kill Litvinenko

The murder of the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was likely to have been carried out with Vladimir Putin's knowledge, according to the US's most senior diplomat in Europe.

Villepin backs 'Karachigate' claims against Sarkozy

A full-blown state scandal, involving President Nicolas Sarkozy and other senior figures, threatens to explode this week over "Karachigate", the allegation that political corruption and revenge-taking in France led to the murder of 11 French submarine engineers in Pakistan in 2002.

World Focus: Political exiles line up to take on Sarkozy

Two spectres from the past are haunting President Nicolas Sarkozy, a man who claims to care only about the future.

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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

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Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
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Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?