French forces arrive in Central African Republic as military operations begin in troubled country

UN approves force to stop escalation of bloodshed in nation on brink of genocide

Villians
No shortage of controversial owners and chairmen; Cardiff's Vincent Tan may yet end up as one of the more villainous. On the pitch, being loyal Welsh internationals won't spare the likes of Craig Bellamy, Ashley Williams and others from dog's abuse.

Crystal Palace sporting director Iain Moody still waiting for explanation over why he got the sack at Cardiff City

Moody was dismissed by club owner Vincent Tan but he has admitted that he is still waiting for a reason as to why he was replaced by the untried 23-year-old Kazakh Alisher Apsalyamov

A court ruled this week that the lover of the Arpels diamond heiress would have to return money he was left

French big business and the art of the family feud

From usurped diamond inheritances to boards stuffed with rowing cousins, the source of stress in Paris is all relative

Fresh blow for François Hollande as French unemployment hits 16-year high

French president François Hollande’s woes deepened today as unemployment hit its highest level for more than 16 years.

Jonny Wilkinson (in red) and his Toulon team-mates hoist aloft the Heineken Cup after victory over Clermont Auvergne back in May

English clubs set for vote on whether to participate in European competitions next season

All 12 clubs from the Aviva Premiership will be in attendance at the 'emergency meeting'

Andrew Sheridan after collecting a runners-up medal at the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final

Andrew Sheridan told that neck injury could end career

Andrew Sheridan's long career at the sharp end of the scrum may be drawing to a close. The England loose-head prop, who played in the 2007 World Cup final and was a Test Lion in South Africa two years later, is suffering from a neck injury and has been told to rest for a month while doctors weigh up his chances of playing again. "Andrew is out, possibly forever," said Bernard Laporte, his coach at Toulon.

Playing to type: Anne pledged to write 50,000 words in November

NaNoWriMo: A novel approach

Each year, aspiring writers are challenged to produce a 50,000-word work in a month. Anne Penketh embarked on a fictional journey with her murder mystery, The Marsh

The Rail Europe name is to be erased by Christmas – just as horizons for British train travellers are being expanded with a new Paris-Barcelona high-speed service

End of the Rail Europe brand before Christmas condemned as ‘absolutely daft’

The strongest brand in European train travel has reached the end of the line. The Rail Europe name is to be erased by Christmas – just as horizons for British train travellers are being expanded with a new Paris-Barcelona high-speed service.

Jonny Wilkinson (in red) and his Toulon team-mates hoist aloft the Heineken Cup after victory over Clermont Auvergne back in May

French clubs flinch in latest Heineken Cup twist

Teams meet  to discuss their next move in the long-running row

UBS Paris headquarters raided by French authorities in tax evasion probe

Swiss bank under investigation over allegations of money laundering

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has claimed the Gunners have nothing to fear ahead of their trip to Manchester United

Arsenal v Marseille: Champions League match preview

A look ahead to the Champions League Group F encounter at the Emirates Stadium

The radical cleric Abu Hamza was reportedly the target of an assassination plot by French spies

French spies plotted to assassinate Abu Hamza on streets of London

Schemes of French intelligence services reported in Gateway to Terror investigation by HOPE Not Hate

Points made: Olivier Giroud celebrates opening the scoring

Arsenal 2 Southampton 0 match report: Artur Boruc howler and Olivier Giroud double vision keeps title in focus for Arsenal

Arsenal striker takes advantage of showboating by Southampton goalkeeper Boruc to break deadlock and secures victory with a penalty that consolidates top spot

Simon Read: Another fund manager leaves? So what?

Investors are becoming used to regular fund management changes with several significant City heavyweights moving on in recent times. In September it was Fidelity's Sanjeev Shah who announced he was standing down as manager of the hugely popular Special Situations fund he had, in turn, inherited from Anthony Bolton five years previously. His place in the managerial hot seat has been taken by Alex Wright.

Alan Pardew knows Newcastle’s fortunes must change soon

Newcastle transfer news: Alan Pardew hopes to attract new players with good results

The Magpies take on Norwich this weekend

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas