Forget the Irish and US elections. The big question is whether dogs or cats are the superior species. A new TV programme attempts (...)

France’s prime minister Manuel Valls says the country’s state of emergency will continue “as long as necessary”. Photograph: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

French interior ministry report is used to justify extending state of emergency

Until his conversion to Islam, football was Quentin Roy’s great passion. He is believed to have died with Islamic State fighters in Syria at the age of 23

Lara Marlowe: Family and friends grieve for ‘the real Quentin’, not the fallen jihadi fighter

French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut poses in the Institut de France library prior to his induction ceremony at the Académie francaise on Thursday. Photograph: EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson

Secular Jew philosopher’s elevation coincides with the French drift to the right

French president François Hollande  welcomes Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani as he arrives at the Élysée Palace in Paris.  Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Years of mutual mistrust could not be erased in an instant by the stroke of a pen

Christiane Taubira waves to staff from her bicycle as she leaves the justice ministry in Paris following her resignation on Wednesday. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Christiane Taubira steps down over plan to strip convicted terrorists of their nationality

Iran president Hassan Rouhani said he was looking to shore up economic ties with European Union countries, as he started a four-day trip to Italy and France. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Trip after nuclear accord marks start of normalisation and step to stabilising Middle East

Policemen from the Ile de France region hold a banner reading “Don’t touch our years of services benefits” as they demonstrate in Paris on Tuesday. Photograph: Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images

Trade union CGT claimed up to 150,000 civil servants demonstrated across France

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and US ambassador to France Jane Hartley, pay tribute to the victims of November 13th terror attacks in Paris, at the Place de la Republique. Photograph: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

France and the jihadists seem locked in a wrestlers’ hold, a mutual fascination and loathing which neither can escape

 Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud is suspected of being the  ringleader behind  the Paris attacks in November. Photograph:  AP

Analysis: Islamic State’s influence among French Muslims is a result of many factors

President François Hollande: “Aside from the security of the French people, the only question that matters is employment.” Photograph: Yoan Valat/Reuters

France's president has moved to address years of structural unemployment

The Tánaiste Joan Burton with Minister for Business and Employment Jed Nash and Joe Costello at the launch of the Labour Party’s Workers Charter  earlier this week. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Joan Burton chairs ministerial meeting as OECD praises Ireland’s ‘can-do attitude’

 David Begg: defending her decision to appoint Mr Begg as Pensions Authority chairman, Joan Burton said he “has an outstanding record in this area”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister under attack for appointing David Begg as chairman of Pensions Authority

French health minister Marisol Touraine and neuroscientist Gilles Edan. The minister promised to “get to the bottom of this tragic accident”. Photograph: Reuters/Stephane Mahe

French police to investigate Phase I testing of BIA 10-2474 by firm Biotrial

Rob Lawrie with Bahar Ahmadi who he was asked to smuggle to the UK from Calais. He was facing up to five years in jail but the judge in Boulogne-sur-Mer merely gave him a symbolic fine and then suspended it. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Compassion for a child in a Calais refugee camp led Rob Lawrie to risk five years in jail

Benjamin Amsellem: the Jewish teacher was stabbed by a 15-year-old the day before this picture was taken by a 15-year-old. Most of the 72 “terrorist-related” offences in Marseilles since November 13th have been directed against members of the city’s 70,000-strong Jewish community. Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty

Community leaders debate wisdom of wearing kippa following Marseille attacks

Soldiers guarding La Source Jewish school in Marseilles after a teenager wounded a teacher. Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

Jews in Marseilles urged not to wear kippa ‘until better days’ after attack with machete

Place de la République: Small gathering leaves impression of  government turned in upon itself, under siege. Photograph: EPA

France pays tribute to killed or injured by jihadists in capital’s shooting attack of 2015

Iranian women wave flags  during a rally to protest the execution by Saudi Arabia  of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Photograph: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Countries are competing to fill the regional power vacuum left by the Arab Spring

French police near the Rue de la Goutte d’Or in north Paris on Thursday, after police shot dead a knife-wielding man who reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Man with knife killed after trying to attack police station on ‘Charlie Hebdo’ anniversary

Abdelhamid Abaaoud (left), the alleged planner of the attacks in France of November 13th, 2015. Participant in the attacks, Salah Abdeslam (right), remains the most wanted man in Europe.   File photographs: Dabiq/French police/AFP/Getty Images

Jihadis co-ordinated in real time by unidentified person in Brussels on November 13th

The latest edition of French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo with the coverline: “One year on,  assassin still on the run.” Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Ceremonies, including unveiling of a plaque, show depth of feeling in era of uncertainty

A minute’s silence in Paris for the victims of the November terror attacks which claimed the lives of 130 people. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

World review of the year: Isis planned and ‘inspired’ some of the atrocities this year

Marine Le Pen: the leader of France’s far-right  Front National had predicted the party  would take five regions in the elections. Photograph: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Despite high expectations, Front National fails to take single region in the elections

Climate activists demonstrate with red umbrellas in Paris on Saturday. Photograph: Thibault Camus/PA

Irish among those who marched for ‘climate justice’ in the French capital

Crowds took to the streets despite the anti-terrorism state of emergency rules that forbid large gatherings. Photograph: EPA

Climate change strategy seen as beginning of the end of planet’s dependence on fossil fuels

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, COP21 president Laurent Fabius and François Hollande after the climate change accord was adopted in Paris. Photograph: François Mori/AP Photo

‘A lot of us didn’t even know what a COP was’. Now the whole world knows

Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front (FN): the FN claims to be France’s “first party” and often leads in the first round, as it did on December 6th, with 27.8% of the vote. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Extreme-right party falls short in local elections despite first-round successes

From left are Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius, and president-designate of COP21 and French President Francois Hollande celebrating  final agreement  at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 12th, 2015. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

There will be no shortage of people seeking to take credit for concluding Paris accords

Some 40 Irish people from the Stop Climate Chaos coalition (above) were allowed to continue to Paris after initially being stopped at Cherbourg on Thursday night.

‘We have the last word, these thousands of us in the streets - we’ll continue to fight for climate justice’

 Primitive communication: Jane Goodall, the world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees, with Nana at a zoo in Magdeburg, Germany, in 2004. Photograph: Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images

Renowned climatologist (81) says COP21 agreement is key to chimpanzee survival

A French customs officer photographs one of the banners brought by Irish environmental activists to the UN climate conference. Photograph: William Hederman

Bus carrying 35 campaigners stopped by French police for three hours in Cherbourg

Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi: rejects distinction “between clean and dirty fuels”. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

The wealthy and influential oil nation is attempting to frustrate progress at Paris talks

California Governor Jerry Brown: “Whatever we do to prevent a calamity is a cost-effective move.” Photograph: Reuters

California governor Jerry Brown: ‘We are growing 25% faster than rest of the country’

A replica of the Eiffel Tower made out of recycled chairs at the COP21 World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Le Bourget, north of Paris. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

Paris has put on a big show for COP21, but real business happens behind closed doors

 An art installation by  Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson entitled Ice Watch, made with parts of Greenland’s ice cap, on display in front of the Pantheon in Paris.  Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Links between governments and business challenged by activists

US president Barack Obama leaves the stage after a news conference at the conclusion of his visit to Paris, for COP21. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

‘This is happening. We’re not turning back,’ US leader tells climate change conference

US president Barack Obama told a press conference in Paris that he does not expect his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to begin targeting Islamic State (ISIS) soon. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

US president hopes for shift in Russians and recognition it’s time to end Syrian civil war

 Narendra Modi: originated the concept of ‘climate justice’. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Prime minister of India seeks to unite 110 countries on acquiring solar technology

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Said Ireland was “determined to play its part” in reaching an historic agreement. Photograph: Bloomberg

Taoiseach blames recession for Ireland’s difficulty in reducing carbon emissions

COP21 family photograph of state and government leaders at the opening day of the conference at Le Bourget in Paris yesterday. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/AFP/Getty Images

Hollande tells 10,000 delegates “hope of all mankind” rests on their shoulders

The Place de la Republique is covered in pairs of shoes  in  Paris, as part of a symbolic and peaceful rally called by the NGO Avaaz within the UN conference on climate change COP21. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Kenny tells Hollande that Ireland will sign up to ‘measurable and achievable targets’

A woman participates in a human chain to show solidarity for climate change after the cancellation of a planned climate march in Paris yesterday. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Struggles against climate change and terrorism two greatest of 21st century, says PM

President of France Francois Hollande attends The National Tribute to The Victims of The Paris Terrorist Attacks at Les Invalides in Paris. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

President Francois Hollande spoke of ‘the fallen’ as if they were soldiers

 Nicolas Hulot: President François Hollande’s special envoy for the climate and a chief organiser of COP21:  “The real question is will it be half a success, a full success or an absolute success?”Photograph:  Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

Hulot, French special envoy for the climate, says UN conference is already a success

 We cannot receive more refugees in Europe,” French prime minister Manuel Valls told journalists in Paris. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Manuel Valls stresses solution to migration crisis lies in Middle East not Europe

 French prime minister Manuel Valls Mr Valls was at home in Paris’s 11th district, just 150 metres from La Belle Équipe café where 19 people were shot dead on the night of November 13th. “I learned a few hours later that the son of close friends, a former gallery owner in Barcelona, died,” he said. Photograph: EPA/Ian Langsdon

Paris attacks are Europe’s moment of truth, according to Manuel Valls

Co-ordination: French president Francois Hollande talks to British prime minister David Cameron after a meeting at the Elysée Palace in Paris. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

French president to meet world’s most powerful leaders in search of support

It is possible to love a place the way one loves a person, and everyone loves Paris: tributes at the base of the Monument a la Republique at the Place de la Republique square. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

We see death on an industrial scale, but we are selective in our compassion

Suicide bomber: 20-year-old Bilal Hadfi, who blew himself outside the Stade de France, raising his right index finger in the Islamic State salute

Weekend Read: The atrocities of November 13th, committed by ordinary-looking young Europeans are the culmination of two decades of(...)

Muslims hold the French national flag at the Great Mosque of Strasbourg   during the Friday prayer, to pay tribute to the victims of the November 13th Paris terror attacks. Photograph: Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images

French Muslims are fearful in the wake of the Paris attacks, writes Lara Marlowe

Detail from painting of Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun in a 1790 self-portrait while painting Queen Marie Antoinette. Image: Galleria Degli Uffizi, Florence/Bridgeman Images

A Grand Palais exhibition shows Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun to have been as intelligent, charming, resourceful – and indeed liberated (...)

Forensic scientists examine the apartment raided by French police yesterday morning in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis: Sources say second cell was planning fresh strike on business district. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Sources say cell was planning fresh strike

An undated image of Belgian citizen Abdelhamid Abaaoud from Islamic State’s English-language magazine ‘Dabiq’.  (Militant photo via AP)

The man suspected of planning the Paris attacks is a well-known face of Islamic State

French president François Hollande  and US secretary of state John Kerry at talks on Syria in the Élysée palace, Paris. Photograph: Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images

Vladimir Putin greets president’s initiative with sarcasm and claims alliance was his idea

French president  François Hollande observes a minute’s silence with other high-ranking officials. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/Reuters

Hollande criticised by former president Nicolas Sarkozy for use of word ‘war’

The French air force  launched  air strikes against  Islamic State in its Raqqa stronghold  in Syria on Sunday. Photograph: EPA

High-ranking Frenchmen in Islamic State may have chosen Paris targets, sources say

French President François Hollande delivers his speech during an exceptional joint gathering of both of the French houses of parliament in Versailles.  Photograph: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Paris aftermath: François Hollande indicates current state of emergency will be extended

The  Les Beguines bar in Molenbeek, Brussels was run by the French Abdeslam brothers, one of whom blew himself up in Paris on Friday  and the other who is on the run. Photograph: Eric VidalReuters

At least five of the eight jihadis who carried out the Paris massacres were French citizens

A crowd gathers to lay flowers and candles in front of the Carillon restaurant in Paris. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

Parisians experience a range of emotions after the attacks in 11th arrondissement

Candles  next to a flower in  a broken window of Le Carillon restaurant in Paris,  the site of one of the attacks in the French capital on Friday. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Massive air attack targets Raqqa in northern Syria as hunt continues for Salah Abdeslam

A man attaches a banne to a statue at Place de la Republique near sites of the deadly attacks in Paris on Sunday. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

There’s a straight line between Bush’s invasion of Iraq and France’s torment

Arrest warrant issued for Abdeslam Salah.

France conducts ‘massive’ air strikes against Islamic State in Syria two days Paris attacks

Municipal employees clean the blood outside Le Carillon bar in Paris, the day after a deadly attack in the city. Photograph: Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

City still feels like a front line on Saturday morning, writes Lara Marlowe in Paris

Coats are seen on the floor as forensic police search for evidence on Saturday morning  inside the Comptoir Voltaire cafe at the site of one of the six attacks on Friday in which 128 people were killed. Photograph: AFP

Three arrested as Islamic State claims responsibility for attacks

A screen  grab image taken of French president Francois Hollande adressing  the nation from Paris after a series of terror attacks in the city as as well as explosions outside the national stadium. Photograph: DSK/AFP/Getty Images.

Hollande declares state of emergency and closes borders so ‘no one can enter’

Police patrol in front of the Louvre Pyramid. Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP Getty

Police say ‘accomplices’ could be on loose; Vatican condemns ‘mad terrorist violence’

Maurice Lévy: has been called the Napoleon of advertising for the string of acquisitions – not always friendly – which grew the once small Publicis agency into a giant.

French advertising legend Maurice Lévy is still learning at the age of 73

Christiana Figueres, Manuel Pulgar Vidal (centre) and Laurent Fabius: Recent reports published have driven home the gravity of the climate change situation. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Foreign and environment ministers have made progress towards a climate change accord

France’s president François Hollande and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after a joint news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Monday. Photograph: Jason Lee/EPA

Beijing accepts legally binding text with reviews every five years in major breakthrough

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy: Lashed out at authorities for having put him under investigation in connection with “Air Cocaine”. Photograph: Reuters

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy accuses socialist government of harassment

TV weatherman Philippe Verdier was taken off air by the France 2 channel after writing a book in which  he pooh-poohed global warming and questioned the probity of the 830 scientists who comprise the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP

France 2’s Philippe Verdier pooh-poohed global warming ahead of UN summit in Paris

Laurent Fabius during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in Bonn, Germany. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Tension between developed and developing worlds an obstacle in global warming fight

France’s President Francois Hollande shakes hands with the families of victims of the Puisseguin road accident. Photograph: AFP

‘No one knows better than you the void they will leave in the villages’

Ten years ago: a warehouse burning on November 4th, 2005 in Aulnay-sous-Bois on the seventh consecutive night of violence on the ouskirts of Paris. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images.

Prime minister Manuel Valls warns of risk of ‘an explosion of our society’

Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo (1522) by Agnolo di Cosimo, called Bronzino. National Gallery of Prague

A Paris exhibition of Medici portraits is a subtle guide to the turbulence that would shape Europe for centuries

Grieving relatives carry candles in procession in Petit-Palais on Sunday. Photograph: AP Photo/Bob Edme

Petit-Palais was home to 28 of the 43 people killed in collision between coach and lorry

A survivor after the collision near Libourne, southwestern France, is comforted. At least 43 people, most of them elderly, were killed when a coach collided with a lorry and caught fire. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The pensioners killed organised a lottery to earn money for their outings

People leave a chapel which has been giving refuge to friends and relatives of victims of a bus and track crash in which at least 43 people were killed. Photograph: Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images

Most of the passengers on the coach, who were on a day trip, were over 70

Residents have a wash at the “New Jungle” migrant camp in Calais, where thousands live in the hope of crossing the Channel to Britain. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Migrant numbers rocket amid shoddy services, hazards and racist sentiment

Marine Le Pen: If convicted she risks a fine, prison and disqualification from the 2017 presidential race. Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters

National Front leader insists she was not comparing street prayers with Nazis

Salim Benghalem (35) is described by French authorities as an executioner, jailer of hostages and the man responsible for supervising French-speaking recruits to Islamic State

Salim Benghalem had long established ties to the Charlie Hebdo killers

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: allegations concern fraud and misusing company assets in connection with the bankruptcy of his former Luxembourg investment company LSK. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

Paris prosecutor opened inquiry after businessman who lost €500,000 filed a lawsuit

Then British prime minister Sir Anthony Eden addresses the nation with a television broadcast concerning the Suez crisis. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

The October 1956 war was ‘an act of imperial madness’ that the West has ignored

A French army Rafale fighter before taking off from a base in The Gulf for Syria as part of France’s Operation Chammal launched in September 2015 in support of the US-led coalition against Islamic State. Photograph: AFP

Questions over whether apparent killings in bombing of IS training camp were justified

Adelie penguins, Antarctica. “We are already seeing the impact. We’re already seeing Antarctica start to go, and we aren’t even at 2 degrees yet.” Photograph: Wolfgang Kaehler/Lightrocket via Getty Images

Author Elizabeth Kolbert says fear, not morality, could impel people to act

Kaci Kullmann Five,  head of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee. “We want to prove that it is possible for Islamist and secular political movements to work together in the best interests of the people,” she said. Photograph: Heiko Junge/Reuters

Honour intended to encourage Tunisians and make them example for Arab world

Nadine Morano: her comments on  a television talk show provoked outrage outrage on the left and centre right and divided Morano’s cohorts in Les Républicains. Photograph: Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images

Nicolas Sarkozy furious after Nadine Morano refuses to apologise for comments

A shirtless Xavier Broseta, an Air France executive, is evacuated by security after employees interrupted a meeting at the Air France headquarters on Monday.  Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

Political class and trade union movement unanimously condemn ugly assault

A car is stuck under a bridge during floods in Nice in the southeast of  France on October 3rd. Along the French Riviera, at least 17 have drowned. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Hollande links catastrophe around Cannes and Nice to climate change

Stiff handshake: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and French president Francois Hollande meet for bilateral talks before a summit to discuss the conflict in Ukraine in Paris. Photograph: Michel Euler/Reuters.

Timetable for Minsk accords delayed as local elections put on long finger

In this 2010 file photo, Syria president Bashar al-Assad addresses reporters following his meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. Photograph: AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere

Vladimir Putin’s support has ensured the Syrian dictator’s survival, at least for now

“One must not write what is expected. It’s important for north African writers to show they have other things to say.” Leila Slimani, whose novel In the Garden of the Ogre has just won the Prix La Mamounia literary prize in Morocco. Photograph: C Hélie Gallimard

Moroccan author Leila Slimani has taken a bold step in writing about a bored woman addicted to sex at a time when publishers in th(...)

Ali al-Nimr’s father has appealed to the king for mercy after he lost his last high court appeal.  Photograph: Facebook

Ali al-Nimr (20) participated in protests against the Saudi government

French prime minister Manuel Valls during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday about the migration crisis. Photograph: EPA/Ian Langsdon

Divided public opinion explains why French politicians emphasise rules and the repression of traffickers as much as humanity

Prime minister Manuel Valls at the start of an extraordinary session on Syria on Tuesday: he said 1,880 French citizens or residents have joined IS. Photograph: Eric Feferbergeric/AFP

French air operations shift from reconnaissance missions to bombing raids on IS

French minister for foreign affairs Laurent Fabius. Photograph: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

Hamdallah met by French prime minister as UN votes to raise Palestinian flag outside HQ

French president François Hollande said: “It’s late. It may already be too late.” Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

The French are pulling out all the stops to ensure the COP21 is not a mere talking shop

French environment minister optimistic for agreement at COP 21, writes Lara Marlowe

François Hollande: “My responsibility is to make sure that we are as well informed as possible of the threats against our country.” Photograph: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

François Hollande changes tactics in light of the ongoing IS crisis and Russian actions

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