The artificial heart produced by Biomedical firm Carmat

Science trumps sentiment as France claims breakthrough with first artificial heart transplant

'Holy grail' of transplant surgery is performed on 75-year-old man

A man prays in the CAR; 600 have died since fighting started

French President François Hollande isolated over conflict in Central African Republic

Mr Hollande has pleaded with other EU members to put more boots on the ground in the former African colony

French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'

French officials have fined a pub in Brittany €9,000 for “undeclared labour” after a customer returned some empty glasses to the bar.

Jean-Marie Le Pen with FN deputy Marion Marechal-Le Pen in November of this year - the former leader of the FN has suggested Romanians are 'naturally' inclined to stealing

French far-right politician Jean Marie Le Pen fined for racist Roma remarks

Jean Marie Le Pen, the former leader of French extreme-right group the National Front, has been fined €5,000 for suggesting Romanians were “naturally” inclined to steal.

Double coach crash in France leaves Oxbridge skiers needing medical attention

Lucky escape for dozens of students despite side-on collision

More trouble for François Hollande as France is christened the new “sick man of Europe”

President François Hollande is wrestling with a sluggish economy and unemployment at a 16-year high

Munster celebrate after their late victory over Perpignan

Perpignan 17 Munster 18: Last-gasp try from JJ Hanrahan rescues Munster from jaws of defeat in thrilling finish

Perpignan looked to have secured a late win through Tommaso Benvenuti's effort by Hahrahan came off the bench to score with time expired

Car bomb kills two UN peacekeepers in Mali town Kidal

A car bomb has exploded in the Malian town of Kidal, killing at least two UN peacekeepers.

France has called on Britain to 'share' more of the policing and financial 'burden' caused by the pile-up of illegal immigrants in Calais

France calls on Britain to 'share' Calais immigrant 'burden'

The vast majority of the migrants there refuse to apply for asylum in France, as once they do so, they will lose their right to seek asylum in the UK

Aussaresses: he was thought to have lost his eye at war; it was later reported that it was in fact a failed cataract operation

Paul Aussaresses: General who fought in the Algerian war for independence and in retirement was tried for defending the use of torture

Paul Aussaresses was a French army general who in the final years of his life dispassionately revealed the torture techniques he employed during the Algerian war for independence and defended them as appropriate measures in the modern age of terrorism. Aussaresses spent nearly his entire career in the service of his country's military. He was described as a hero of the Second World War and fought in the French Indochina War before being posted to Algeria at the outset of the anticolonial rebellion there in 1954.

French café starts charging extra to rude customers

Manager of La Petite Syrah in Nice says staff were fed up with ‘customers being rude when they’re busy’

PIP breast implant boss Jean-Claude Mas set to appeal after court jails him

Court rules that the French businessman who sold tens of thousands of faulty silicone breast implants around the world is guilty of fraud

Jamie Gibson goes over from close range for Leicester against Montpellier on Sunday

Leicester 41 Montpellier 32: Miles Benjamin delighted to accept French surrender

The English clubs may be turning their backs on the most compelling annual tournament in the union game but at least they are showing the good grace to wait until the end of the season. The French appear to be engaged in a mass skedaddle with two thirds of the campaign still to run. Racing Métro, Perpignan, Toulouse... between them, three of the biggest teams in the country have just made a mockery of the idea that they are still remotely interested in European competition.

Hold on tight: The best clutches to see you through the highs and lows of party season

Clockwise from top left: Mirrored clutch, £39.99, zara.com

High unemployment has provoked protests across France

Vive la black market! One in three French people say they have earned undeclared income this year

Anne Penketh reports on resourceful ways to dodge VAT

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness