News French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

Ayrault asks his ministers to stop using English words in their work

Estate agents lose claim for £1.41m Lakshmi Mittal commission

Three of Britain's top estate agents came away from the High Court empty handed today after losing their claim for £1.41 million commission on the sale of one of the most prestigious properties in London.

MPs bow out: Honourable members? There were some...

While almost no one was spotless, not all of our MPs deserve to be remembered just for the expenses scandal. Nina Lakhani salutes the hard-workers who won't be standing for re-election

Mary Dejevsky: Don't believe the killjoys of London 2012

Now here's a riddle for the holiday weekend: what's on time, on budget and in Britain? The answer, improbable, but correct, is the 2012 London Olympics. Yet still the nay-sayers persist, grumbling away about how the site will never be complete in time, how the costs have already spiralled out of control, and how the city – their city – will be a nightmare for the duration.

120m high and very, very red: the best seat at the Olympic Games

The capital's own version of the Eiffel Tower, 120 metres high and visible from outside London, has been chosen as the monument to mark and tower over the 2012 Olympic Games.

'Mind boggling' artwork that will tower over London

Plans for what will become Britain's largest piece of public art were today unveiled by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Pressure on Hague over his role in Ashcroft's peerage

Mandelson fails in bid for official investigation into peer's non-dom tax status but row continues to rage

'Climate emails hacked by spies'

Interception bore hallmarks of foreign intelligence agency, says expert

Will Davos be a damp squib?

There'll be no Obama, Brown or Bono at next week's economic forum, but does it matter?

Magilton denies headbutt on Buzsaky but faces sack

Assistants walk out on QPR in support of manager as clash with player escalates

League offers Briatore chance to make case

Flavio Briatore has been given the chance to argue his case after the Football League delayed making a decision on whether the co-owner of Queen's Park Rangers has contravened its "fit and proper person" test.

Briatore in line of fire as League gets tough

Disgraced F1 boss likely to be thrown out of football in 'fit and proper person' crackdown with Notts County and Leeds also under scrutiny

The Football Rich List 2009

QPR shareholder Lakshmi Mittal is the wealthiest man in British football, according to the 2009 FourFourTwo.com Rich List.

Dinner at the Carlton: The New Tory power brokers

Exclusive: Margareta Pagano reveals the guest list for the Conservatives’ premier political dinner last week which gives a fascinating snapshot of the movers and shakers getting ready for their turn to influence Downing Street

Steady on, says Cable, as big home tax unravels

Lib Dem leaders face accusations of launching half-finished proposals

Lib Dems plan tax on £1m homes

Vince Cable today announced plans to clobber the wealthiest homeowners as part of a massive Liberal Democrat tax-raid on the rich.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?