A regiment of French marine fusiliers arriving in the ruined square in Cambrai, France, in 1914, after the outbreak of the first World War. As late as July 25th that year Le Petit Parisien newspaper hoped that war could be avoided. Photograph:  PA

Countdown to war: On July 23rd, 1914, Austria delivered an ultimatum to Serbia, reported two days later by French newspapers

 Kaiser Wilhelm II, army chief of staff Helmuth Von Moltke, and Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. An article in “Le Figaro” in the run-up to the first World War highlighted Germany’s advantage over France in military resources and expenditure. Photograph: Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Three days before this article was published, Charles Humbert, vice-president of the armed forces committee revealed how ill-prepa(...)

 The French statesman, Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929) circa 1919. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Georges Clemenceau, who would lead France through the last years of the war, was editor of ‘L’Homme Libre’ in 1914. In this fron(...)

Lara Marlowe outside her local Metro station in the 7th arrondissement

There’s only one rule for renting or buying in Paris: you have to have a ‘coup de foudre’. If that initial spark isn’t there, yo(...)

Self-elevated: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photograph: AP Photo/Iraqi InteriorMinistry

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a man responsible for acts of violence that have made some in al-Qaeda baulk, has stunned observers by usi(...)

The Graf & Stift touring car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated on June 28th, 1914, in Sarajevo, on display at the museum of military history in Vienna. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

A great murmur rose when the emperor, accompanied by members of the imperial household, appeared in the oratory

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy: Under French law, he can be detained for 48 hours. Photograph: EPA/Ian Langsdon

Magistrates investigate if former French president had moles in French justice system

The figure of Mohammad Mossadegh, the prime minister of Iran who was overthrown by the CIA and MI6 in 1953, continues to haunt Iran, as in this painting by Farideh Lashai. Photograph: Nazanin Paykar-Ara

Art market took off under Ahmadinejad; and Rouhani has eased conditions

“All over Europe, overhead lines are ill-accepted,” said Sidonie Blanchard, in charge of electricity transport at the French ministry of ecology, energy and sustainable development. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Since 2009, 76 per cent of all 90,000- and 63,000-volt lines have been buried

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