Pieces of evidence are displayed during the trial regarding the terrorist attack at the Jewish museum in Brussels, at the Brussels Justice Palace,  this week. Photograph:  Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

The four say they recognise Nemmouche as the man who guarded them while they were held in Syria

The ‘gilets jaunes’ on strike in Marseille.  The sign reads ‘the richer they become, the more numerous we will be’.  Photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Paris Letter: Macron’s supporters hope unpopular economic reforms will continue

 French policemen hold up French and EU flags on the facade of Farnese Palace, the French embassy in Rome. File photograph: Claudio Peri/EPA

Populist leader’s support for protest movement increases diplomatic tensions

Firefighters and a police officer are seen near a building that caught fire in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. Photograph:  Geoffroy Van der Hasselt/AFP

Ten dead and arson suspect transferred to psychiatric hospital after fire at apartment block

The first World War grenade found in a shipment of French potatoes in Hong Kong. Photograph: Hong Kong police force

The German grenade had been accidentally shipped from northern France to Hong Kong

France has one of the lowest rates of uptake of the HPV vaccination in Europe, due to ‘unfounded rumours’ around its safety, says Dr Elisabete Weiderpass. Photograph:  Matthew Busch/Washington Post/Getty Images

Efforts to inoculate 60% of girls stepped up amid ‘unfounded rumours’ about vaccine

A fighter for the Syrian Democratic Forces  in Raqqa, Syria in 2017. The SDF have been holding the French jihadists but are no longer able to do so. Photograph: Reuters/Erik De Castro

Authorities examine options to detain the ‘potentially dangerous’ French citizens

Ian Bailey, a British citizen who lives in Schull, Co Cork, denies involvement in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier during the night of December 22nd-23rd, 1996. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Bailey denies involvement in the murder and is still considering participating in the trial

French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife first lady Brigitte Macron with Grand Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb in Cairo. Photograph: Amr Nabil/Reuters

French president on visit to Cairo tells Sisi he should restore civil rights and liberties

Front de Gauche candidate for the 2012 French presidential election Jean-Luc Melenchon (R), flanked by French leader of the French communist party  Pierre Laurent (C), reads ‘L’Humanité’. Photograph:  AFP Photo/Pierre Verdy/Getty Images

‘L’Humanité’ faces liquidation after 115 years in print, as funding options run out

In Dunkirk, northern France, buses were painted bright colours to mark the new free-fare system.
Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Dunkirk is latest European city to offer a free-fare system. Could we follow suit?

French president Emmanuel Macron with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Paris on  October 24th, 2017: Mr Macron has emphasised the “unavoidable” necessity of maintaining good relations with Cairo. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer

Élysée promises French president will raise subjects of repression and abuse in Cairo

French president Emmanuel Macron  sits prior to answering questions during a meeting with local residents as part of the “great national debate” in Bourg-de-Peage near Valence, France, on Thursday. Photograph: Emmanuel Foudrot/AFP/Getty Images

Minds of French politicians turning nervously to European parliamentary elections

 Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini attends a press conference  in Rome earlier this month. Photograph: Riccardo Antimiani/EPA

Migration row between the two governments highlights the shattering of historic ties

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: “When I visited Dungannon in May 2018, I was very struck by my meeting with a group of women . . . Two of them wept because they were so afraid that the Troubles would start again.” Photograph: Getty Images

Backstop cannot be time limited in bid to avert no agreement, says bloc’s chief negotiator

Protesters wearing Pikachu hats take part in a Women’s Gilets Jaunes protest in front of the Eiffel Tower on January 20th. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

France one of world’s leading redistributors of wealth, according to OECD

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel: Critics say the treaty lacks ambition and does not address the euro zone, migrants or social and environmental policy. Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay

Macron and Merkel set for bland commitment to relaunch Franco-German projects

Calais-Dover is the closest maritime link between the continent and Britain, crossed by two million lorries, 46 million tonnes of freight and 9.1 million passengers last year. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

British plans for new ferry routes ‘insolent’ and disrespectful, says Calais port chief

French president Emmanuel Macron addresses a meeting of some 600 mayors in Grand-Bourgtheroulde, Normandy. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

French president’s ‘contemptuousness’ raised during meeting with 600 mayors

“Gilets jaunes” protesters take part in the ninth consecutive national Saturday demonstration, in Bordeaux, France, on January 12th. Photograph: Caroline Blumberg/EPA

President’s six-page letter tells citizens he intends ‘to transform anger into solutions, with you’

A rally of the women’s yellow vest protesters (femmes gilets jaunes) near Place de la Bastille in Paris. Photograph:  Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Defining inclinations of the movement are a clear and present danger to Europe

Firefighters survey the damage following a gas-leak explosion in Paris. Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP

Judiciary police ‘not excluding any possibility’ as death toll rises to four dead, 50 injured

Woman at Her Toilette, 1875-80, Art Institute of Chicago

A fine new show re-establishes the painter as a leading impressionist but miscasts her as a feminist icon

François Fillon was expected to win the top office until it was revealed his wife had received some €600,000 for a fake job. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

François and Penelope Fillon could be prosecuted over scandal that destroyed his 2017 campaign

A file picture released on June 1, 2014 shows Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old suspected gunman who shot dead four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty

Jihadist Mehdi Nemmouche accused of killing four in Brussels Jewish Museum

A man with a skateboard passes by a mural by street artist PBOY depicting yellow vest protesters inspired by the ‘La Liberte guidant le Peuple’ painting in Paris on January 8th Photograph: Philippe Lopez/ AFP/Getty

Protesters from neglected countryside knocking on the door of bourgeois Parisians

Archbishop of Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin  in  court in Lyon, France where he is on trial charged with failing to report a priest who abused boy scouts in the 1980s and ’90s. Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images

Cardinal Barbarin of Lyon and five others accused over priest’s abuse of boy scouts

Emmanuel Macron. For 10 days this month, the French president hunkered down in the Élysée Palace, pondering where it all went wrong. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

French president will have to work hard to salvage reputation at home and abroad

French president Emmanuel Macron and former Élysée senior security officer Alexandre Benalla. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Alexandre Benalla in fresh scandal over use of diplomatic passport and role in arms trade

Gilets jaunes protesters in Biarritz, southwest France. Photograph: Iroz Gaizka/AFP/Getty Images

Paris Letter: Debate will attempt to ‘take the pulse of the country’ after widespread unrest

The memorial service at the Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci, where John Dowling taught English and European civilisation for 20 years. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

Memorial service for John Dowling, killed in Paris, was a joyful celebration of his life

Dublin teacher John Dowling who was stabbed to death outside a university in Paris.  Photograph:  Pôle Universitaire Leonard de Vinci

John Dowling who had taught at the college for 20 years was stabbed by a former student

French special police forces secure an area during a police operation in the Meinau district  in Strasbourg, France. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The 29-year-old is suspected of Christmas market assault that left three dead

Handout picture released by French police of Cherif Chekatt, suspected of being the gunman involved in the Strasbourg shooting. Photograph: French police handout/AFP/Getty Images

Terror investigation begins after two killed by gunman near Christmas market

Yellow vest  protesters watch President Emmanuel Macron’s speech on TV in Fay-au-Loges, near Orleans. Photograph: Guillaume Souvant/AFP

In response to yellow vest crisis, president announces boosts to purchasing power

The shattered  window of Starbucks at Gare St Lazare in Paris, following a fourth week of protests against rising fuel prices.  The police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse “yellow vest” activists. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Central Paris’s streets were once more a mess of tear gas, protesters and debris

Smashed windows of  a Starbucks after yellow vest clashes with French police in Paris on December 8th, 2018. Photograph: Ian Langsdon

Massive deployment of security as 136,000 engage in acts of violence and destruction

A firefighter extinguishes a burning car during the yellow vests’ demonstration near the Arc de Triomphe today. Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Restive city draws sharp police reaction to yellow vest protesters who turn ire on Macron

Protesters wearing yellow vests take part in a demonstration below the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Barricade of burning rubbish bins built as ‘yellow vests’ demonstrate

John Dowling: “Adorable, always good-humoured and very, very intelligent”. Photograph: Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci/PA

John Dowling ‘loved what he taught and the people he taught it to’

Edited image: Forensic police in front of the main entrance of the Pôle Universitaire Léonard-de-Vinci where John Dowling (inset), a 66-year-old teacher from Ireland, was stabbed to death. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Marine Le Pen comments on fatal stabbing of lecturer (66) after arrest of Pakistani citizen

Edited image: Forensic police in front of the main entrance of the Pôle Universitaire Léonard-de-Vinci where John Dowling (inset), a 66-year-old teacher from Ireland, was stabbed to death. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

John Dowling (66) had been teaching English in France for the past 20 years

French president Emmanuel Macron (centre) waves to citizens as he assesses the damages of the ‘Yellow Vests’ protest a day earlier, next to the Champs Elysee in Paris on December 2nd Photograph: Etienne Laurent/EPA

Large segment of population view Macron as the ‘president of the rich’

A student is arrested by police during a demonstration, on Monday, in Bordeaux, southwestern France.  Photograph: Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

Woman (80) becomes fourth person to die in violence that threatens rest of president’s term

Graffiti  on a  wall at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on the day after serious clashes with yellow vest protesters. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Anger over fuel taxes worsens over falling living standards and Macron’s perceived aloofness

Louis Gentilhomme, who quit as mayor of Saint-Seine-sur-Vigeannes earlier this year.  Photograph: Pierre Terdjman/New York Times

French president seeks to improve relations with rural mayors angry over cuts to resources

Demonstrators  on the French overseas island of La Reunion on Monday demonstrate as part of the gilets jaunes (yellow vest)  movement to protest against fuel prices.  Photograph: Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images

It’s easy to imagine the unpopular Macron as a powdered marquis being led to the guillotine

Ségolène Royal is a veteran of 30 years in French politics. She was the first woman in France to make it to the runoff in a presidential election. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Politician’s new book takes aim at Macron, former partner Hollande and sexism

Father and son: part of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting The Swing, and on the set of the Jean Renoir film A Day in the Country. Original photographs courtesy Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou

Freudians would have a field day with Jean’s allusions to Pierre-Auguste’s paintings

Anti-riot policemen evacuate gilets jaunes protesters during a protest against the raising of fuel and oil prices. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Rise of the ‘gilets jaunes’ coincides with Macron’s record low 26% approval rating

The cordoned-off Bataclan concert hall in Paris, November 16th, 2015. The “Beyond Chaos: In the Aftermath of the Arab Upheavals” launch occurred on the third anniversary of the massacres. Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Book author notes how much jihadism evolved between 9/11 and the 2015 Bataclan attacks

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau attend the opening session of the Paris Peace Forum on Sunday. Photograph:  Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via Reuters

Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity sets out to prevent interference

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron greet US president Donald Trump as he arrives  at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday.  Photograph:  Benoit Tessier/AFP/Getty Images

Barrage of tweets come 48 hours after Macron criticises US president’s nationalism

The tide washes away a remembrance cross is planted in the sand as volunteers drew depictions of those killed in World War One, part of Danny Boyle’s Pages of The Sea celebrations, on Murlough Beach in Newcastle, Northern Ireland on November 11th Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

World leaders gathered in France where Trump led through inarticulation

US first lady Melania Trump and US president Donald Trump look on as  German chancellor Angela Merkel talks to French president Emmanuel Macron at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2018. Photograph:  François Mori

Trump, Putin and Netanyahu keep degree of distance as Macron condemns nationalism

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “There isn’t, nor should there be, any one political party anywhere in the UK or Europe that should have a veto on this.” Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Exiting EU a matter for UK government and parliament and EU, Taoiseach says

French president Emmanuel Macron   at a ceremony marking the centenary of the end of the first World War at  the Douaumont Ossuary cemetery  near Verdun. Photograph:  Ludovic Marin/AP

... German buglers responded. Across the battlefield, men stood up in bright sunshine

At St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, silence will be observed at 11am on Sunday to mark the end of the first World War. Choral Evensong at 3.15pm will include official wreath-laying.

Galway events will commemorate 1,400 men from county who died in WWI

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire proposed a compromise to secure agreement for an EU-wide digital sales tax. Photograph: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

France says only Ireland, Sweden and Denmark are holding out on digital tax

French soldiers near Verdun battlefield  on which 163,000 French soldiers and 143,000 German soldiers died. Photograph: STF/AFP/Getty

French president to meet May, Merkel and Mali president during Alsace-Moselle events

Citizens wear traditional costumes outside the venue for the closing meeting of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) campaign for a ‘yes’ to New Caledonia’s independence from France in Noumea, on the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, on October 30th, 2018 Photograph: Theo Rouby/AFP/Getty

Former colony 17,000km from mainland France has waited 30 years for referendum

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney with  French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on Wednesday

Irish and French ministers discuss contingency plans for trade at Paris meeting

Ireland and France have “a very similar view and approach towards supporting and progressing” the Middle East peace process, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/EPA

Government ‘working with France’ on initiative, Tánaiste says

French president Emmanuel Macron and Czech prime minister Andrej Babis in Prague on Friday. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters

French president’s visit seen as attempt to prise Czechs and Slovaks from Viktor Orbán

John Lyndon of Alliance for Middle East Peace (Allmep): ‘We have never handed a worse set of variables to an emerging generation’

John Lyndon hopes to bring incremental peace to region based on Irish experience

'I knew few people as skilled at explaining the mood of the Arab street and the intricacies of Arab politics' as Jamal Khashoggi, above. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

It is a strange feeling to learn that a colleague you knew and liked died atrociously

French president Emmanuel Macron meets  local  residents, officials and emergency services during a visit to  the Aude department in Villalier on Monday, where 14 people died in flash floods. France October 22, 2018. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool via Reuters

Leading liberal democrats discuss the need to ‘counterattack’ global rise of populism

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: WTO terms “would be very difficult for all of us in Europe; much worse for the British”. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

EU negotiator calls frictionless border ‘a condition for peace after many tragedies’

Gildo Pallanca, son of late Hélène Pastor, speaks to journalists. Photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Pathological liar used Hélène Pastor’s own money to take out a contract on her

    Writer and lecturer Aurélie Filippetti   with Bono, who  was made  a “commander of arts and letters” during her tenure as François Hollande’s culture minister. Photograph:  Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty

Paris Letter: Scathing portrayal of Sarkozy and Hollande published as Socialists go bust

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who is also interim Interior Minister, reacts as he inspects the damage after flash floods hit the southwestern Aude district of France. Photograph: Reuters

The equivalent of up to four months’ rain falls in just six hours in south central France

Leader of France’s far-right National Rally (RN) party Marine Le Pen  with Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini: want  Eurosceptical, populist parties to obtain a blocking minority in  the Strasbourg assembly. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli

Right-wing populists forging alliances to target ‘those holed up in the Brussels bunker’

Delacroix: a detail from July 28, 1830: Liberty Leading the People. Courtesy of the Louvre, Paris

The painter fell in and out of favour with critics. A new exhibition shows his continuing relevance

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and French president Emmanuel Macron   at UN headquarters in New York last month. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Despite tensions president Macron still hopes to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran

French president Emmanuel Macron with Gérard Collomb, who has resigned from his role as  interior minister.   Photograph:  Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

French president has now lost the three heavyweight ‘ministers of state’ appointed after his election

French singer Charles Aznavour, who described himself as “100 per cent French and 100 per cent Armenian” Photograph: Christophe Ena/Pool/File Photo/Reuters

Paris Letter: Aznavour was determined, wise and persevering, in work as in love

French singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour: died in his home in Alpilles in southeastern France. Photograph: Jonathan Alcorn/AFP/Getty

Paris-born singer with Armenian family origins wrote 1,300 songs up to his death at 94

French president Emmanuel Macron poses for a selfie with a youth in the Quartier Orleans during a visit to the French Caribbean island of Saint Martinon Saturday. Photograph:  Eliot Blondet/Reuters

Marine Le Pen seizes on ‘unforgiveable’ action of young man photographed with French president

French prime minister Edouard Philippe (R) shakes hands with French right-wing Les Republicains  party president Laurent Wauquiez, ahead of the debate on  Thursday. Photograph: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt

Hard-right Republican leader and French prime minister in icy 20-minute exchange

French Government’s spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

President’s nascent party holds its line on core principle of being ‘viscerally pro-European’

Sophie Toscan du Plantier (above): her mother, Marguerite Bouniol, when asked if she would attend the trial, replied, “If I am still alive . . . We still want justice to be done, but the pain does not change. The pain is eternal”.

One last bureaucratic hurdle remains before the trial can be scheduled, say lawyers

Manuel Valls during a demonstration to support the unity of Spain in Barcelona. Photograph: Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

Paris Letter: Manuel Valls wants to be mayor of Catalan capital having been outdone by Macron

'One of the chief arguments for abolishing the rule is that it is a waste of time. The average French child spends 80 hours learning it, without ever understanding.' Photograph: Getty Images

Paris Letter: No agreement on past participle as linguists try to get changes

French president Emmanuel Macron with Michele Audin, daughter of late Maurice Audin, as he leaves the home in Bagnolet of Josette Audin, widow of Audin, on Thursday. Photograph: Thomas  SamsoN/AFP/Getty Images

President’s admission France killed activist Maurice Audin provokes outcry from right

Emmanuel Macron: “A four-year-old from an underprivileged family knows half as many words as a child from an affluent family.” Photograph: Michel Euler/EPA

‘There is in every child a Mozart who is murdered,’ says president of poverty’s effects

Experience + Innocence: Bono on stage in Paris on Saturday. Photograph: Zakaria Abdelkafi/AFP/Getty

As part of the Experience + Innocence show in Paris U2's lead singer has lots to say on Trump, the perils of success and how he’s (...)

Adam Clayton of U2 and the band’s former manager, Paul McGuinness look at an English-Irish dictionary dating from 1768 as Irish College director Nora Hickey M’sichili looks on.

Bono meets President Macron while Adam Clayton visits Irish College

French rappers Booba (L) and Kaaris (R) sitting with other defendants in a courtroom at the courthouse of Creteil, near Paris on September 6th following a brawl at the Orly airport  last August. Photograph:  Benoit Peyrucq/AFP/Getty Images

Two rappers went on trial in Paris this week for turning a duty-free shop into a battleground

Esteban Morillo, one of three ultra-right wing activists charged with involvement in the death of anti-fascist militant Clément Méric, arrives at a Paris courthouse. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Network intended ‘massive, unforeseen’ retaliation to any further jihadist attacks

Emmanuel Macron with National Assembly speaker François de Rugy. Mr Macron replaced ecology minister Nicolas Hulot with Mr de Rugy on Tuesday. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Appointments fall short of dramatic changes that some in French president’s camp had urged

Seventy per cent of under-threes in Spain are not in child care

French president Charles de Gaulle (centre)  in Brazzaville, French Equatorial Africa (modern-day Republic of the Congo) in 1958.

Paris Letter: Sixty years ago, General Charles de Gaulle created the Fifth Republic

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron: “The rise of extremes is almost a general rule, and France is an exception.” Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP

French president takes flak over migrants, ecology and remarks about compatriots

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh: was first arrested in September 2010 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security and was imprisoned in Evin Prison. Photograph: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty

‘Courageous and respected’ Nasrin Sotoudeh has gone on hunger strike in Tehran prison

Outgoing French minister for ecology Nicolas Hulot: “I do not want to give the illusion that my presence in the government signifies we are up to the challenge.” Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Shock departure of Nicholas Hulot damages French president’s green credentials

Predictions that French president Emmanuel Macron would back down when he reformed the labour code and the SNCF railway system proved false. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

French president ploughs on with reform agenda amid increasing disillusionment

A prize of €10,000 will be awarded in honour of the late Michel Déon, a French writer who lived in Galway for 40 years. File photograph: Lara Marlowe

French writer published more than 50 works of fiction and non-fiction in his lifetime

Rosie, in the bathroom that she built with her late husband. “I mixed the bricks and mortar with my husband and handed it up to him on the ladder,” she says. The 88 year-old woman, who fled a Dublin nursing home in 2016, has returned happily to the home she bought with her late husband in 1954

The story of Rosie sheds light on the plight of the estimated 1,000 people forced into homes

Delainey Schwarz, 8, Bella Burnwell, 10 and Emma Strong, 11, from Chicago, are among 10,000 musicians participating in the Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda this week. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

Irish traditional music festival in Drogheda is planet’s largest with some 10,000 participants

 The Promenade Des Anglais’s vista is comprised of three harmonious and roughly equal parts: the turquoise and sapphire Mediterranean, the sky it is reflecting, and the bustling, palm-lined avenue against the backdrop of the city and mountains

Lara Marlowe reports from the Promenade des Anglais, now possibly the world’s safest seafront

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