General Marcel Bigeard was one of France's most adored and decorated military commanders and was a veteran of three wars who became the doyen of counter-insurgency. A veteran of the Second World War, France's colonial wars in Indo-China and Algeria, Bigeard rose up from the lowest rank to become a four-star general. Much to the annoyance of the top brass, he was loved by the troops and gained a reputation as a tough, no-nonsense commander who led by example, being wounded on five occasions and escaping captivity three times. A 1958 profile of him in Time magazine captured his tough-as-nails persona: "A martinet, but the idol of his men, Bigeard whipped them into shape by running them as much as 15 miles at a time. He made them shave every day, no matter where they were, doled out raw onions instead of the traditional wine ration because 'wine reduces stamina.'"
Tales of intrigue and murder surround Ambroise Vollard's huge art collection. As some finally appear at auction, John Lichfield reports
Jérôme Kerviel turns tables on his former employer as his case enters its final week
Rogue trader Jerome Kerviel went on trial in Paris today accused of one of history's biggest bank frauds.
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The man accused of losing his bank €5bn reveals the 'orgasmic pleasure' he got from playing the markets
The alleged rogue trader, Jérôme Kerviel, sought far and wide by the world's media, appeared briefly in public today for the first time since he was accused of losing nearly €5bn (£3.7bn) two weeks ago.