Villepin back in court over anti-Sarkozy 'smear plot'

The former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin went back on trial yesterday, accused of condoning a plot to discredit President Nicolas Sarkozy before the 2007 presidential election.

Sky wins set-top box ruling

Satellite broadcaster Sky today won a European legal battle over customs duties on imports of its Sky+ box.

Rowland's bank raided by SFO

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) yesterday expanded its investigation into the failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing by raiding five addresses in Luxembourg, including the business premises of David Rowland, the former Conservative Party treasurer.

Ribéry and Evra expect jeers from France fans

Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra expect to attract boos and whistles tonight when they make their first home appearance for France since being banned for leading a mutiny during last year's World Cup.

Patrice Evra moving on from World Cup 'scar'

Patrice Evra concedes he will always "live with the scar" of his role in France's World Cup debacle last year but is nevertheless determined to become a positive force for Les Bleus in the future.

Evra and Ribéry return for France

France coach Laurent Blanc has included Patrice Evra and Franck Ribéry in his squad for next Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Luxembourg, while also recalling the Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri.

Ward digs deep in five-set epic to lift Britain off the bottom

Beating arguably the weakest opposition Britain have ever faced in the Davis Cup should be kept in perspective, but James Ward had every right to be proud of his tie-winning performance against Tunisia here yesterday. Ward secured victory in this Europe Africa Zone Group Two tie by beating Malek Jaziri 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 after a gruelling encounter that lasted 15 minutes short of four hours.

Rentokil's profits tumble after £95m City Link hit

The chief executive of Rentokil, the pest control to property services group, has accused former management at City Link of "losing the plot", as its parcel delivery unit caused a sharp drop in profits last year.

SuperGroup acquires €40m partner to drive growth

SuperGroup, the owner of the trendy Superdry brand, is to embark on a major expansion in Europe after revealing yesterday that it had acquired its Benelux and French franchise partner for up to €40m (£34m) in cash and shares.

'Bullying' ambassador loses Obama's favour

A wealthy supporter of President Barack Obama, who was parachuted into the enviable job of US ambassador to Luxembourg, has quit after a damning report accused her of filing dodgy expense claims and being "aggressive, bullying, hostile and intimidating" towards staff.

The City Diary: Loose cash

I'll begin with a curious case involving Christo Wiese, one of South Africa's most prominent businessmen and a former chairman of our own Instore (Brown & Jackson as was), erstwhile owner of discount retailer Poundstretcher.

Lifemark victims to be paid out in full

About 19,000 people who lost money in Lifemark bonds they bought through the collapsed investment firm Keydata are to receive compensation up to the full limit paid out by the UK's savings safety net.

Labour put limits on Iraq Inquiry to keep the US happy

Gordon Brown's Government secretly promised to limit the extent of the Iraq war inquiry to prevent damage to the United States, the leaked cables disclosed. The pledge – made last September as the Chilcot inquiry into the war started – threatens to damage the credibility of the investigation, which is due to report in the new year.

Luxembourg referee 'kept in dark' over strike

Luxembourg referee Alain Hamer may have reconsidered his part in officiating in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League last weekend if he had been informed of the reason for the Scottish refereeing strike sooner than two hours before kick-off.

The Cost Of Living, By Mavis Gallant

Largely selected from the pages of The New Yorker, this collection of the early work of Canadian short story writer, Mavis Gallant, kicks off with her first published story, "Madeline's Birthday" (1951), and ends with the novella-length "The Burgundy Weekend" (1971). As with the best writers of short fiction, Gallant's primary subject is loneliness and the exquisite sadness of being exiled from home.

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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall