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.

'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.

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.

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'