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Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and President Francois Hollande

François Hollande faces growing pressure to sack PM Marc Ayrault

The French president has been left with little room for manoeuvre by collapsing poll ratings

Wikileaks, Bitcoin and Raspberry Pi named by UK trust for promoting 'inspiring social change'

Projects covered a range of areas including "social exclusion", "access to knowledge" and "civic empowerment"

Wrong words: Senator Rand Paul has been castigated for using unattributed material

As somebody else once said... Kentucky senator Rand Paul exposed for plagiarism

Out of America: He has been nailed for using in a book of his a passage taken from Forbes magazine – but only in America could it threaten his promising career

The house in Fitzroy Square Google rented for two days

Master of the house: Google's 'home of the future' is an on-message eye-opener

Cooking using your voice, watching films with a dongle and improving snaps with an app...Simon Usborne visits the house in London that the company has chosen as a showcase for the way it wants to run your life

Jack Wilshere has taken to Twitter to defend his comments on whether foreign players should be able to play for England

Comment: Playing for England should be for people who feel English

I have lived in England for 13 years - but I do not feel English

Ritz raises valuation as interest from would-be buyers continues

The Barclay brothers have received "several unsolicited approaches" to buy The Ritz in London's Piccadilly, according to the luxury hotel's latest accounts.

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

US shutdown hits holidaymakers

The aim is to ensure that not a single breeding pair of rats survive to repopulate the island

Dutch police recruit rats to sniff out criminals

The Dutch police are pioneering a new approach to catching criminals, recruiting rats to sniff out crime.

Thames Duck boat fire: Passengers jump overboard to escape blaze on London Duck Tours vessel

Latest blaze compounds safety fears over craft after two similar incidents earlier this year

Once bitten, twice shy for Dixons as it vows to shun the internet

Sebastian James, the boss of Currys and PC World owner Dixons, has vowed to stick to the High Street in the future after the sale of its loss-making online-only business Pixmania came a step closer.

Republicans divided over spending and Obamacare legislation support

As the conflicts over Obamacare and the raising of the debt ceiling continue in the US Congress, it is becoming clear that those battles are not merely Republican versus Democrat, but also Republican versus Republican.

The sporting week ahead (22/09/13)

Today

NANA: A café for nanas, run by nanas, seeks crowd-funding

NANA Comfort Food and Craft Café takes to KickStarter to raise money for toilet conversion in east London

Coroner rules that elderly woman did not die from tea spilled on her in care home accident

Nursing home inquest: Tea scalding ruled out as causing death of Margaret Young

Coroner rules that wound was caused by cellulitis infection, not hot drink, and that there was no evidence 73-year-old would have survived if different action was taken

Steve Smith and Brad Haddin

Ashes 2013: England's hopes of 4-0 win dashed by smashing Steve Smith

Hosts end the day 32/0 in reply to Australia's 492/9 declared

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Independent Travel
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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all