A mural painting of Napoleon Bonaparte in Ajaccio. Photograph: Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP via Getty

Paris Letter: 200 years after his death, the emperor’s place in history is bitterly disputed

French president Emmanuel Macron: Polls indicate he  would win 54 per cent of the vote in a presidential run-off, against 46 per cent for Marine Le Pen. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP

Country ‘unravelling’ say generals in open letter as Macron looks to May 2022 election

French prime minister Jean Castex announcing the new Covid-19 restrictions.  “We’ve reached a sort of plateau,” he said. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

8pm-6am curfew to begin next Tuesday as coronavirus cases start to rise again

French prime minister Jean Castex said Islamist separatism ‘is all the more dangerous because it is the manifestation of a conscious, theorised, politico-religious plan whose ambition is to impose religious rules on common law’. Photograph: Charles Platiau/EPA/Pool Maxppp Out

Strengthening Republican Principles law ‘not a text against religions’, says PM

French president Emmanuel Macron  greets Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi upon his arrival at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Photograph: EPA

French president takes conciliatory, pro-regime line at briefing with Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrives for a hearing of his trial on corruption charges at Paris courthouse. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty

Former French president, up on corruption charges, expects to be ‘cleansed of infamy’

Notre-Dame Cathedral burns on April 15, 2019. Photograph: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty

Mass will be said in Notre-Dame in April 2024, five years after it was all but destroyed

French president Emmanuel Macron promoted Clément Beaune to minister of state for European affairs in July. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP

Clément Beaune has affection for Ireland and our approach to European solidarity

A staff member at the port of Calais on Thursday, as French authorities make preparations ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Minister visits counterparts in France as EU-UK talks reach ‘very sensitive moment’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the Irish fishing sector was worth €1.4 billion annually and supported 16,000 jobs,  Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

Minister says he has total confidence in EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier

Michel Zecler talks to media outside the IGPN (France’s National Police General Inspectorate) as he arrives to press charges after he was repeatedly beaten by police. Photograph via AFP/Getty

French president summons senior officials after beating of black man triggers outrage

 French president Emmanuel Macron addressing the nation from the Elysee Palace in  Paris. Photograph: EPA/Caroline Blumberg

President says second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has peaked in France

 Police officers evacuate migrants from a makeshift camp on Place de la République in Paris on Monday night. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Place de la République camp dismantled as National Assembly passes ‘global security’ law

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has prospered in retirement. He sits on the boards of at least three major French companies. Photograph: Michel Euler

Former French president and two co-defendants face 10 years in jail and €1m fine

Detail from The Red Carpets (1906). Image copyright Succession H Matisse

The French master’s art is ‘just what we need in this anxious, dark time’

Lara Marlowe with Robert Fisk in Kuwait, near a burning oilfield, in February 1991

If he was controversial, it was because he refused to conform. Robert never followed the herd

A parishioner in front of the  Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice on Thursday after a man killed three people and wounded several others in a knife attack. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

French citizens abroad urged to step up security amid surge in Islamist violence

French police officers stand at a security perimeter following the  attack. Photograph: Sebastien Nogier/EPA

Macron condemns ‘Islamist terrorist attack’ on day of four knife attacks against French targets

 In French president Emmanuel Macron’s televised address to the nation, he said: ‘The virus is circulating in France at a speed that even the most pessimistic had not anticipated.’ Photograph:  Philippe Lopez/ AFP via Getty

France in national lockdown, and Germany shuts bars and restaurants as Covid cases surge

French president Emmanuel Macron is seen on a TV screen through of a restaurant, in Paris as he delivers an evening televised address to the nation. Photograph:  Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

President Emmanuel Macron hopeful restrictions can be lifted in time for Christmas

Cézanne’s The Murder

Like all geniuses Cézanne assimilated. Are the similarities one sees in colour, composition and light deliberate, unconscious or m(...)

A shoe print on a picture of President Emmanuel Macron  during a demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey,  against the  president’s comments on  Prophet Muhammad cartoons. Photograph: Getty Images

Turkish president tells Macron to ‘go have your mental health examined’

Policemen observe a minute’s   silence at  Bordeaux city hall in homage to history teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded. Photograph:   Philippe Lopez/AFP

France begins crackdown against alleged Islamic radicals three days after beheading of teacher

A protester holds a copy of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo during an anti-terrorism vigil on Sunday at Place de La Republique in Paris for the murdered schoolteacher Samuel Paty. Photograph: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

Protests follow murder of teacher by 18-year-old unconnected to victim or school

People in Montpellier demonstrate against terrorism and pay respect to slain French teacher Samuel Paty. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo

Samuel Paty’s murder draws leaders of political parties to Paris’s Place de la République

French President Emmanuel Macron, flanked by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, speaks in front of a high school in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris, after a history teacher was beheaded. Photograph: Abdulmonam Eassa/AP.

Knife-wielding suspect shot dead by police after pursuit following attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

Screens display French president Emmanuel Macron addressing the nation about coronavirus in Paris on Wednesday night. Photograph: Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty Images

‘We do not understand the virus fully,’ says Macron as state of medical emergency reinstated

Christian Louboutin: “I had to go to pubs all over London searching for Guinness cans without green paint.”

The shoemaker to the rich and famous, finds inspiration in childhood, conversation and collecting

Eric Zemmour, who on September 29th – speaking about unaccompanied minors who have migrated to France  – said: ‘They are murderers. They are rapists. That is all they are. They have to be sent back.’ File photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

A recent outburst by the right-wing commentator was shocking even by his standards

Restaurant owners bang ladles against saucepans  at a demonstration against restaurant and bar closures in Marseilles. Photograph: Daniel Cole

Toulouse and Montpellier poised for alert escalation as country seeks to limit infection

French president Emmanuel Macron: “We built our own separatism, that of our neighbourhoods, through the ghettoisation of our Republic.” Photograph: Ludovic Marin

‘Neutrality of public service’ and training of ‘citizens, not believers’ part of French plan

 French singer and actor Juliette Greco performs in Paris, in 1968. She was the muse of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the link between often impenetrable intellectuals and popular song. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Paris Letter: Performer sang of her beloved city, of amour, rebellion and fleeting pleasures


A 1968 student-teacher scandal continues to resonate in France five decades on

The International Monetary Fund  estimates that €550bn in profits, more than a third of profits generated by foreign subsidiaries of multinationals, are transferred to tax havens annually

Ireland appears on lists of countries which French paper links to harmful tax competition

A Corner of the Table by Ignace Henri Fantin-Latour.  From left to right: Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Elzear Bonnier, Leon Valade, Emile Blemont, Jean Aicart, Ernest d’Hervilly, Camille Pelletan. Photograph: Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images

Call for 19th-century poets who had tumultuous relationship to be reinterred in Paris

Marie says she awoke to see her partner above her telling her he would smash her ‘head in’

France sees spike in calls to domestic abuse helpline during Covid-19 lockdown

Conor McGregor was held for questioning and later released without charge. Photograph: Scott Heavey/PA Wire/File

Former UFC champion held overnight following complaint and later released

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and French president Emmanuel Macron meet on the sidelines of a summit of seven Mediterranean countries in Porticcio, Corsica on Thursday. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/EPA

French president attends Med7 summit in Corsica as tensions in Mediterranean escalate

French journalist Fabrice Nicolino, who survived the Charlie Hebdo shooting, is seen at the Paris courthouse in Paris, on Wednesday. Photograph: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images

Wounded survivors testify in Paris detailing massacre which killed 12 of their colleagues

Police officers stand guard outside a Paris courthouse where 14 suspected accomplices in the Charlie Hebdo killings are on trial. Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

Court rows over Covid-19 rules jar with graphic images and high emotions amid trial

People commemorate the first anniversary of the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi intelligence agents at the Turkish embassy in Istanbul. Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman has rejected any responsibility for the murder. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck’s riveting page-turner chillingly profiles Saudi’s MBS

French president Emmanuel Macron  elbow bumps after handing over a Welcome to French Citizenship booklet to a new French citizen during a ceremony to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the republic at the Pantheon in Paris on Friday. Photograph: Julien De Rosa/AFP/Getty

President promises new law to tackle ‘separatism’

French prime minister Jean Castex  presenting the  France Relance crisis recovery plan for the economy. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty

The EU’s recovery fund will finance 40% of the ambitious French programme

French president Emmanuel Macron and Iraqi president Barham Salih  greet each other with elbow bumps after a press conference at the presidential palace in Baghdad on Wednesday. Photograph: Murtaja Lateef/EPA

French president has promised citizens their sovereignty, but can he do it alone?

 Hooded gunman Chérif Kouachi and his brother Said Kouachi aiming Kalashnikov rifles at a police officer before shooting him dead after their assault on  the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, on January 7th, 2015, in Paris. File photograph: Jordi Mir/AFP/Getty

Trial of 14 alleged accomplices in 2015 attack on satirical weekly scheduled to last for 10 weeks

An  equestrian club in Les Yvelines, west of Paris. There have been attacks on  dozens of horses, ponies and a donkey in France this year, causing the death of about 15 animals and mutilating as many others. Photograph: AP Photo

The animals are of all ages, and range from ponies worth a few hundred euro to a racehorse valued at €200,000

French president Emmanuel Macron: This week’s  visit to Lebanon will be about “pressure and engagement”. Photograph:  Lebanese Presidency/Anadolu Agency

Century after France created Lebanon, president intervention appears to bypass EU

French president Emmanuel Macron: “This virus continues to surprise us.” Photograph: Christian Hartmann/EPA

Record 7,379 new cases of Covid-19 reported in France

Beirut port after the huge explosion that  rocked the city. More than 180 people were killed and 6,000 injured. File photograph: EPA

Paris Letter: Echo has come to encapsulate sense of foreboding on return to Beirut

French president Emmanuel Macron said that while ‘we are living through a time of crises’, the Covid-19 trouble is chief among them. Photograph: Getty

Leaders project image of European unity in an increasingly troubled world beset by crises

Pedestrians wear face masks in a congested street market in Lourges. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP via Getty

Between a fifth and a quarter of infections are occurring in workplaces

An injured victim is rushed from the scene of the car bombing that killed former prime minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others in Beirut in 2005. Photograph: Rorbert Schiller/The New York Times

Four low-ranking members of the Shia Muslim Hezbollah political party are accused of killing the former prime minister and 21 othe(...)

Turkish and Russian armoured vehicles  on  joint patrol of the M4 Motorway on the western outskirts of the city of Saraqib  in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Photograph:  Russian Defence Ministry\TASS via Getty

Patrick Cockburn’s section summaries help a poorly edited book of reprinted articles

A helicopter puts out a fire at the scene of the explosion at Beirut port. Photograph: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Lebanese must vote for leaders on the basis of merit and probity, not religious affiliation

Postcard “rue Daubigny, Auvers-sur-Oise” covered with the painting Tree Roots (1890) by Van Gogh,  copyright Arthénon.

Linked to rue Daubigny in Auvers-sur-Oise, Tree Roots is last canvas the artist painted

‘I watched Spike agonise for 48 hours before his vet admitted the case was hopeless.’

Paris Letter: Ordinary grief, including pet grief, continues through the pandemic

Anne Soupa being interviewed on the porch of the Église de la Madeleine. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

A group of Catholic women is demanding an end to discrimination in the church

French president Emmanuel Macron gives the thumbs up at a round table meeting during the EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/AP

Principle of mutualised debt, not the amount, is thing ‘that mattered’ for France

French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer speaks in the National Assembly on July 16th, in Paris. Photograph: Francois Guillot/AFP via Getty Images

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities among French students

 French president Emmanuel Macron greets Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven as he arrives for a meeting at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Thursday. Photograph: EPA

Push needed to overcome opposition of ‘Frugal Four’

President Emmanuel Macron  during the Bastille Day military ceremony on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Photograph:  Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

Macron asks all citizens to wear face masks and says country prepared for a second wave

The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (Portsmouth), 1876, Tate London

The artist's paintings delighted and scandalised in equal measure

Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron and Nicolas Sarkozy meet at the French cup final in 2018 at Saint-Denis. Photograph: Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto

French president seeks political advice from a man dogged by scandals

Newly named French prime minister Jean Castex: President Emmanuel Macron appointed him as the country focuses on reviving an economy hard-hit by pandemic and lockdown. Photograph: Michel Euler

Macron reshuffled team to drive unity while fragmenting opposition in run to 2022

Edouard Philippe applauds his successor as French prime minister, Jean Castex,  during a handover ceremony at the Hotel de Matignon, the official residence of the French prime minister, in Paris on Friday. Photograph: Jeanne Frank/Bloomberg

Jean Castex, ‘perfect clone’ of predecessor, tasked with helping Macron change direction

Former French prime minister Francois Fillon and his wife Penelope arrive at the Paris courthouse. Photograph; Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images)

Court hands down five years and €375,000 fine to politician who almost won presidency

Strasbourg city hall candidate for the ‘Strasbourg ecologiste et citoyenne’ list Jeanne Barseghian (right) of the Europe Ecologie les Verts (EELV) green party casts her ballot at a polling station in Strasbourg  during the second round of the French mayoral elections on June 28, 2020. Photograph: Patrick Hertzog/AFP via Getty

Europe Écologie Les Verts seize town halls in Besançon, Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg

Macron has emerged as the primary defender of liberal democracy and multilateralism, at odds with populist nationalist clones across the continent. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Book review: William Drozdiak’s text is an essential guide to the first half of Macron’s term

Socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who is openly hostile to Macron, is virtually certain to be re-elected, after a disastrous campaign by the president’s LREM party. Photograph: Getty Images

Sunday’s elections will be chastening after a disastrous campaign by president’s LREM

French President will meet the 150 members of the Citizens’ Convention on Climate next Monday to respond to the far-reaching, 600-page report. Photograph: Eliot Blondet/Pool via AP

French president created convention in April 2019 in response to gilets jaunes revolt

French president Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath at the statue of  Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on Thursday, marking the 80th anniversary of de Gaulle’s appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

French president hoping to be seen as a modern-day de Gaulle as he eyes re-election

A protester holds a placard supporting BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) in Paris in 2015. Photograph:   Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

ECHR overturns ruling by France’s highest court that peaceful protests were criminal

French president Emmanuel Macron in a televised address: Paris cafés and restaurants will be allowed to resume normal service, including indoors, on Monday.  Photograph:  Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

President celebrates ‘a first victory’ but warns that Covid-19 may return

French president Emmanuel Macron and prime minister Edouard Philippe. A certain tension is inherent in the French system of a dual executive branch. Photograph:   Charles Platiau/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Edouard Philippe has thrived in recent crises and overtaken the president in popularity

 Protesters demonstrate in front of Paris courthouse against police violence. Some 20,000 people defied a ban in Paris  to protest the 2016 death of a young black man in French police custody. Photograph: Michael Rubinel/AFP via Getty Images

Similarities between Adama Traoré’s fate and that of George Floyd in USA not lost on demonstrators in Paris

French prime minister Édouard Philippe gives a televised address on Thursday announcing the second phase of the easing of lockdown measures from June 2nd. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/EPA

Most welcome measure will be unrestricted travel to anywhere in France from Tuesday

Prof Didier Raoult, who has been prescribing hydroxychloroquine to Covid-19 patients for several months, attacked the Lancet study on its use as “a completely delirious fantasy”. Photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP

Drug promoted by Trump banned following study finding links with higher mortality rate

The lorry was found on an industrial estate 32km east of London in October last year. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty

Arrests follow deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants inside truck in October last year

At my first job as a journalist in Paris, four colleagues and I shook the hands of two bosses every morning, but gave bises to each other. Photograph: Getty

Paris Letter: Cheek-kissing is a social minefield in France. Not everyone would miss it

Emmanuel Macron, then  French economy minister, and Philippe De Villiers  during a show at the Puy du Fou theme park in 2016. File photograph: AFP/Getty

President green-lights opening of viscount’s theme park before other public gathering places

Two worshippers, Guillaume and Cynthia,  put on their as they prepare to enter the reopened Notre Dame de Chartres cathedral in central France on May 14th. Photograph: Jean-François Monier/AFP via Getty Images

As the cathedral in Chartres reopens, sacred and profane struggle with Covid-19 constraints

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel during a joint video press conference on Monday. Photograph: Andreas Gora/EPA

Macron and Merkel announce burden-sharing initiative to help countries hit by Covid-19

 Locals shopping on the tiny cobbled main street in the medieval city of Provins in  France. The  town is less than 100 kilometres from Paris and expects more visitors as France loosens restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Tala Skari

Tourism key to bustling medieval town but fears remain of hordes of Parisian invaders

French free runner Johan Tonnoir  on Trocadero Plaza in Paris on Monday, the first day of France’s easing of lockdown measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.  Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

Paris Letter: Joy and apprehension – and new protocols – as the country eases lockdown

Peadar King’s reporting with RTÉ brought him to cities including Goma in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photograph: Joe Farrell

Book review: Peadar King’s book draws on years reporting with RTÉ’s What in the World

 Emmanuel Macron: The Macron administration committed the “triple error” of destroying millions of masks that could have been used, and of failing to renew or increase stocks, according to  investigative journalists Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme. Photograph:  Francois Mori/AFP/Getty

Failure to heed repeating warnings results in inadequate provision of intensive care beds, tests and protective equipment

French prime minister Edouard Philippe presents the details for the easing of the country’s lockdown at the Hotel Matignon in Paris. Photograph: Christophe Archambault/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Majority of primary schools to reopen and wider travel permitted from Monday

In Europe’s greatest health crisis in a century, the youth and vigour of French president Emmanuel Macron have been outshone by German chancellor Angela Merkel’s age and experience. Photograph:  Ludovic Marin /POOL/AFP

Huge disparity in mortality figures and testing reveal two very different approaches

 A woman waves the French national flag in support of healthcare employees in the Paris suburb of  Saint-Mande on Monday. Photograph:  Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

Retesting of samples suggests virus was in France a month before first case confirmed

World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus meets President Xi Jinping in Beijing on January 28th. Photograph: Naohiko Hatta/Getty Images

UN organisation has been subjected to barrage of criticism over response to pandemic

Referring to China, French president Emmanuel Macron told the Financial Times last month: ‘There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about.’ Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty

At the start of the pandemic, Europe and China helped one other. Then the mood changed

Residents line up during a food distribution by volunteers from the Aclefeu association in Clichy-sous-Bois near Paris. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Immigrant communities try to break stigmas as they endure growing inequality

French president Emmanuel Macron walks in a greenhouse  in western France on Wednesday, as part of a visit to support French farmers amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Emmanuel Macron adviser says ‘at least an extra €1,000bn’ needed for EU recovery fund

French president Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation about the coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Even some senior members of Macron’s party opposed to opt-in app StopCovid

Airport employees unload  material arriving from China, including thousands of masks, at the international airport of Nice, southern France. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

Paris expresses ‘disapproval’ over disinformation published by envoy Lu Shaye

Firefighters tackle a blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, France, in April 2019. File photograph: AP Photo/Michel Euler

The first anniversary of the cathedral blaze highlights parallels between catastrophes

French president Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation about coronavirus on Monday night.  Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

President tells nation ‘we will have to live with the virus for several more months’

French president Emmanuel Macron talks to employees as he visits the Kolmi-Hopen face mask factory in Saint-Barthelemy-d’Anjou in central France. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Macron urges rebuilding of ‘EU sovereignty’ in production of essential supplies

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