Hugh Schofield

Diana jurors revisit last moments in Ritz hotel

A British jury on Tuesday visited the Ritz hotel in Paris where Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, spent their last hours together before their deaths in a fatal road crash 10 years ago. On the second and last day of a familiarisation trip to the French capital, the 11 jurors in the inquest into their deaths walked through the corridors of the luxury hotel.

Vote-weary French elect new National Assembly

French President Nicolas Sarkozy looked set to win a sweeping mandate for his ambitious programme of reforms on Sunday as the French went back to the polls to elect a new National Assembly, the lower chamber of Parliament. About 35-million registered voters began choosing deputies in 467 constituencies.

Uneasy calm returns to French cities

The French government was to meet on Monday on whether to extend a state of emergency in a number of places to tackle more than two weeks of urban unrest as the number of attacks was dropping nationwide. An overnight curfew was still in force in 40 municipalities and authorities in the southeastern city of Lyon banned public gatherings in order to head off a repeat of clashes in the historic centre.

French riots spiral out of control

Riots in France's poor city suburbs appeared to be spiralling out of control on Monday after the worst night of violence to date, in which more than 30 police were injured and 1 400 cars burned across the country. "The shockwave has spread from Paris to the provinces," said the director general of the national police.

Heir apparent Villepin steps into Chirac’s shoes

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin took the place of the hospitalised Jacques Chirac in the chair at the government's weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, confirming his strengthening position as the 72-year-old president's heir apparent. Detail of the president's condition remained obscure.

French wine lobby wins advertising victory

Campaigners against alcohol abuse were up in arms on Thursday after the French Parliament voted in favour of a law which will ease the tight restrictions on advertising wine and possibly other drinks. Critics accused the centre-right government of President Jacques Chirac of abandoning a pledge to clamp down on alcohol abuse.

Police find underground cinema in Paris

Paris police have discovered an underground cinema -- complete with projector, screen, seating and bar -- which was set up in a disused quarry beneath the Trocadero in the capital's plush 16th arrondissement, officials said on Tuesday. The chamber, situated about 20m below ground level, was fed by electricity stolen from power lines.

Libya takes a step out of isolation

Libya took a new step out of diplomatic isolation on Friday when it signed a deal in Paris offering -million dollars in compensation for the bombing of a French airliner over the Sahara in 1989.

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