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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

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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
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
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
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
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching