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(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has announced his return to politics, saying ‘I am a candidate for the presidency of my political family’. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy announced his return to politics on Friday, declaring he would seek the leadership of the opposition UMP par(...)

French president Francois Hollande said  France launched its first airstrikes today against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq, a day after he said his country would join the US-led aerial campaign against the jihadists. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

French jets struck a suspected Islamic State target in Iraq for the first time today, expanding a US-led military campaign against militants who have (...)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Wales earlier this month. Photograph: Doug Mills/ The New York Times

European Union and Nato officials expressed undisguised relief on Friday at Scotland’s clear vote against independence from Britain, but some fretted (...)

Two supporters from the ‘Yes’ Campaign walk through  Edinburgh after the bid to win independence was defeated. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

The decision by the Scottish electorate to remain as part of the United Kingdom will be received with relief in Brussels and many European capitals. T(...)

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(...)

Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi speaking at the first day of school at the Pino Puglisi Institute  in Palermo,on Monday. Renzi told parliament yesterday that the government’s reform package Italy’s ‘last chance’ to combat its chronic economic decline. Photograph: EPA

Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi has called his government’s 1,000-day reform package Italy’s “last chance” to combat its chronic economic decline(...)

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(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry says Iran’s alliance with the Syrian government in its fight against insurgents excludes engagement with Tehran. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry vetoed the participation of Iran in today’s foreign minister-level talks in Paris to devise strategies for tackling I(...)

 Thomas Thévenoud: had also failed to pay the rent on his Paris apartment for three years. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

It is the sort of excuse worthy of a shame-faced schoolboy, but the 40-year-old former French trade minister, Thomas Thévenoud, caused astonishment (...)