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Almost half the pupils from some French primary schools were absent from class after the text messages were sent

Allison Benitez, 19, during the run-up to the Miss Roussillon contest

France gripped by disappearance of missing beauty queen and her mother following suicide of former legionnaire father

He made ‘I am innocent’ video plea then took life - but it emerged that his former Brazilian mistress disappeared in similar circumstances nine years ago

Strauss-Kahn has been accused of 'a material act of pimping'

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was ‘king of the party’ at sex soirées, claim French investigators

Disgraced former IMF chief has been charged with ‘aggravated pimping’, along with 12 other people

Queensland MP Peter Dowling steps down amid scandal over indecent images

Australian state lawmaker Peter Dowling has stepped down as the head of an ethics committee after being accused of sending raunchy pictures of himself to a woman, describing his actions as indefensible.

Present company excluded: Beyonce and Jay Z at a film screening; Paris and Nicky Hilton at a fashion show; David Furnish and Elton John at 2011's royal wedding

The rise of phubbing - aka phone snubbing

Practice has spawned an online backlash that has gone global

Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek

Mother and partner who showed no remorse for murder of Daniel Pelka to serve at least 30 years in jail

Judge says four-year-old suffered incomprehensible brutality from Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek

Paralysed motorbike stunt rider Eddie Kidd

Eddie Kidd's wife jailed for five months for assaulting the paralysed motorbike stuntman

Samantha Kidd pleaded guilty to four counts of assault

Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek

Starved, beaten, poisoned: The tragic death of Daniel Pelka at hands of mother and partner

Mother and her partner ‘took relish’ in reign of torture that led to murder of four-year-old boy

Katy Perry has denied rumours of a relationship with Robert Pattinson.

Katy Perry denies romantic link to Robert Pattinson

Pop star Katy Perry has denied rumours that she dated British actor Robert Pattinson.

Madrid protests turn violent as Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy is accused of corruption

Thousands take to streets in Madrid and Barcelona amid calls for explanation from ruling People's Party

Postcard from... Brussels

Postcard from... Brussels

Britain isn’t the only country enjoying a welcome spell of balmy weather at the moment. In Belgium, too, the sun has come out after one of the most miserable springs on record, and people spent the weekend picking up some much-needed rays in gardens, parks and on beaches.

Mariano Rajoy, Spainish Prime Minister

Corrupt? I’m being blackmailed, says Spain’s embattled PM Mariano Rajoy in wake of slush fund allegations

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rejected calls to quit on Monday after his party’s former treasurer said in court he was the author of documents leaked to the press last week, which alleged the premier was paid out of a slush fund.

George Zimmerman enters the courtroom in Florida

Zimmerman declines to testify in trial for murder of Trayvon Martin

The neighbourhood watch volunteer is accused of second degree murder for shooting an unarmed teenager

Briton wanted over drugs haul arrested in Athens pub

Police discovered more than £2m cash and drugs worth millions at a Fulham property in November

A Sumatran tiger. An animal taming rescue team has saved a group of men who were trapped up trees for five days by an angry family of Sumatran tigers

Five men trapped up trees by tigers rescued by animal tamers after five-day ordeal

Seven Sumatran tigers were angered when the foragers accidentally trapped a cub, and mauled one man to death

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary