FN president Marine Le Pen gives a speech following the first round of local elections yesterday. Photograph: AFP Photo/Joel Saget

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party and their allies led in the first round of French local elections, exit polls showed yest(...)

France has been plunged into a heated debate on smacking as Europe’s human rights watchdog prepares to publish strong criticism of the country’s failure to explicitly ban the corporal punishment of children.

Human rights watchdog’s leaked report says law allowing ‘right to discipline’ is not clear enough, as polls find majority of French public opposes sma(...)

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the  American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference yesterday. Mr Netanyahu is to address  Congress today. Photograph: Getty Images

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress today in one of the most politically divisive speeches by a foreign(...)

French photographer François-Marie Banier (right) with his lawyer Laurent Merlet as they leave the Bordeaux courthouse yesterday. Photographer: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images

The five-week trial of 10 people accused of swindling France’s richest woman out of hundreds of millions of euro, ended yesterday in Bordeaux. (...)

French president Francois Hollande: he took drastic action by overriding parliament to push through a package of business-friendly economic reforms. Photograph: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty

French president François Hollande took drastic action on Tuesday to push through a package of business-friendly economic reforms, overriding parliam(...)

Fourteen people in all, including Dominique Strauss-Kahn, are defendants in the “Carlton Affair” trial, so named after the hotel in Lille that sparked the investigation into a sex ring. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a French court on Tuesday he did not know the women at “festive and playful” sex parties he attended were prostitutes, say(...)

Francois Hollande: his party’s control of the national assembly was weakened by the defection last month of one of its deputies to the far left

President François Hollande’s ruling Socialists won a hotly contested parliamentary byelection in eastern France yesterday, narrowly beating a Nationa(...)

Nicolas Sarkozy: he said prime minister Manuel Valls comparison of  France to the former apartheid regime in South Africa was “a moral error”. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

The “sacred union” forged by president François Hollande during three days of Islamist violence that killed 17 people this month has ended.Hollande te(...)

Marine Le Pen mocked the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius for avoiding the word “Islamist” and for referring to Islamic State by their Arabic name, Daesh. Photograph: Yoan Valat

After remaining mostly quiet following the attacks of January 7th-9th, National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen has blamed the atrocities on long- sta(...)

Hostages (including a baby) hide inside one of the food freezer during the Hyper Cacher supermarket in the Porte de Vincennes area of Paris

The unity march that brought an estimated 3.7 million people on to the streets of France transformed one of the most traumatic and horrific sequences (...)