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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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...