French prime minister Manuel Valls after delivering a speech before the vote of no confidence. The outcome shows that President François Hollande’s administration no longer commands a reliable majority. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The French government has survived a vote of no confidence, but has been weakened by the necessity of using an obscure constitutional instrument to p(...)

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(...)

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(...)

Members of the French government and deputies stand as they observe a minute of silence in homage of the 17 victims of last week terrosrist attacks, at the National Assembly in Paris.  Photograph: Remy de la Mauviniere/AP Photo

The spirit of unity that has seized France since three Islamist gunmen killed 17 people last week grew even stronger when the first victims were burie(...)

Cuban president Raul Castro has demanded that the United States respect Cuba’s communist rule as the two countries work toward normalising diplomatic ties. Photograph: Reuters.

Cuban president Raul Castro has demanded that the United States respect Cuba’s communist rule as the two countries work toward normalising diplomatic (...)

A lawyer throws a civil code book as justice officials demonstrate to protest against the new ‘loi Macron’ in Paris. The economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, has made proposals that aim to free up France’s notoriously inflexible labour rules and regulations. Photograph: AP Photo/Francois Mori

French economy minister Emmanuel Macron’s “Law on Growth and Activity,” which was presented in cabinet on December 10th, deals with so many elements o(...)

French lawyers protest against proposed reforms of the legal sector.

France’s government proposed a pro-growth reform bill on Wednesday that is crucial for avoiding EU sanctions but risks being watered down by left-w(...)

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma is greeted by assistant minister for defence Stuart Robert and Queensland’s premier Campbell Newman on his arrival in Australia today in advance of the G20 summit. He left behind a controversy over a multimillion-euro overspend on upgrades to his home. Photograph: Steven Holland/Getty

South African opposition parties today called for a new speaker to be elected after pandemonium erupted in the National Assembly over a report that a(...)

The Burkina Faso military appointed Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida (left) as provisional head of state on Saturday after longtime president Blaise Compaore stepped down on Friday following two days of mass protests. The African Union and Western powers who want to see a swift return to civilian rule. Photograph: Legnan Koula/EPA.

Burkina Faso’s army will quickly cede power to a transitional government and appoint a new head of state, the country’s interim president Isaac Zida s(...)