Nicolas Sarkozy with Rachida Dati at the Élysée Palace in Paris in 2007. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Infighting is order of day in France’s main conservative party UMP

 French president Francois Hollande .  and actor  Julie Gayet: photographs of  them  seated together  at a table in the garden of the Élysée Palace last month have surfaced. Photographs:  Sean Gallup and  Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Book by his previous lover Valérie Trierweiler has sold 600,000 copies

French finance minister Michel Sapin. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/ EPA

Weak growth, low inflaiton and high unemployment mean France cannot comply with EU demands on budget targets

Champigny-sur-Marne, east of Paris, home of the mother of Michael Dos Santos, believed to be the second French jihadi involved in the killing of US hostage Peter Kassig and 18 Syrian pilots. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Michael Dos Santos (22) converted to Islam at age 17 and travelled to Syria last year

’ I don’t know any Irish people in France who can’t speak French’ File photograph: Martin Keene/PA Wire

Paris hosts an Irish-language week

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy: his most faithful lieutenants have disavowed his stand on gay marriage. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Political rival accuses former president of ‘political and moral crookery’

Mahvash Sabet: her faith is considered a “deviant sect” in Iran. Photograph: Pen

Iranian one of five writers whose plight is being highlighted by Day of the Imprisoned Writer

François Fillon (centre), former French prime minister and current centre-right UMP political party deputy, attends the National Assembly in Paris yesterday. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

Jean Pierre Jouyet claims he was asked to speed up investigation into Sarkozy’s finances

French “1798” re-enactors fire a volley over the grave of Private Stephen Kennedy, their “brother in arms”. Photograph: Des Harris

Remembering Private Kennedy: a centenary ceremony for a Ballina soldier

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