Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy waves to reporters on Sunday as he leaves France Television headquarters in Paris after announcing his political comeback. Photograph: AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy won a small victory yesterday when it was announced that the Paris appeals court has suspended an investig(...)

A frame grab from a video released by Jund al-Khilafah, an affiliate of Islamic State, on Tuesday purportedly showing Hervé Gourdel with an armed captor in Algeria.

President François Hollande last night confirmed the “cowardly, cruel, shameful murder” of Hervé Gourdel (55), the French mountain guide kidnapped by(...)

John Banville, ‘the Proust of Ireland’, pictured in Dublin in 2002. “His prose is very dense, and he goes out in a peculiar way; to observe people.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It is the dilemma of many an aspiring writer. If you want to write books and keep food on the table, it’s best to keep the day job.A character in Hadr(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy leaves a Paris restaurant last Friday, the day he announced on his Facebook page that he is a candidate for the leadership of the conservative UMP party, which will elect its new president on November 29th. Photograph: Reuters/Charles Platiau

When the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated by François Hollande on May 6th, 2012, he promised to leave French political life. In(...)

A handout photo made available by the French Army  shows two ‘Rafale’ fighter jets during a mission at an unspecified location over Iraq

France yesterday became the second western country to conduct air strikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq. “This morning, at 9.40am, o(...)

French president François Hollande during  a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris where he outlined plans for the rest of his five-year term. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

President François Hollande yesterday attributed the strength of the pro-independence movement in Scotland to the failings of the European Union. “Eur(...)

French prime minister Manuel Valls addresses  the National Assembly in Paris yesterday. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/PA

Prime minister Manuel Valls survived a confidence vote in the National Assembly yesterday by 269 votes for his government, compared to 244 votes again(...)

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells towards Zummar, controlled by Islamic State, near Mosul in Iraq yesterday. Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

Twenty-six countries, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and 10 Arab states, as well as representatives of the Arab Leagu(...)

History repeating: Arabs surrender near Tel Aviv during the 1948 War of Independence. Photograph: Reuters

In November 1956, as recounted by the journalist Max Blumenthal in his shocking Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (Nation Books, £15.99) an(...)

Haaretz newspaper columnist Gideon Levy: “In the West Bank, you see the real face of the Israel Defence Forces, the so-called most moral army in the world.” Photograph: Gil Cohen Magen/AFP/Getty Images

Gideon Levy is preaching in the wilderness. Week after week, the columnist for Haaretz newspaper tells his compatriots what they do not want to hea(...)