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Alexander Litvinenko The death of Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko,  has been alleged as a Soviet-era style assassination, he feared he had been poisoned by an Italian academic Mario Scaramella, after declaring this to his friend YURI FELSHTINSKY. pictured)

"When I talked to Alexander around 12 November about who poisoned him, we were talking only about the Italian guy Mario,"said Yuri Felshtinsky.

Yuri worked with Litvinenko on a book called "Blowing up Russia: Terror From Within"
 
ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of the rolling stones who has recently released his memoirs.

DODI MAY HAVE BEEN THE REAL TARGET  
Dodi Fayed Dodi may have been the real target on the night he and Diana, and driver Henri Paul lost their lives.

Arab arms dealers were believed to have hired assassins who wanted to murder Dodi Fayed, by luring him to a meeting in a Paris office block (pictured).

Diana had agreed to accompany him to the meeting, on the way the Mercedes crashed into the underpass pillar, killing them and driver, Henri Paul.

These new revelations come from one of France's respected investigative journalists Francis Gillery,who explains the plot in his new book " Diana-The Ghost Of Alma Tunnel"

Mr Gillery said Dodi and Diana were heading for office block, Passy Kennedy, US satellites had intercepted details of the planned plot through mobile phone conversations.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL SET, FULL STORY AVAILABLE
 THE FOURTH MEMBER OF POP BAND "THE POLICE"  
Henri Padovani Henri Padovani may look back with fondness as one of the founding members of super band " The Police" little did he know after quitting the band that they would become one of the biggest bands in the world.

He turned his back on The Police - and joined Wayne County & The Electric Chairs. Today Henry, in something of an understatement, says: "Technically I left to join a bigger band but with hindsight it's certain that The Police went on to better things..."

And with the upcoming world tour of Sting and the Police, estimated to earn in the region of £70 Million, Henri will only be able to watch from the wings.
KEVIN ALDERTON - BLIND SPEED SKIER  
Kevin Alderton blind skier

Britain’s Kevin Alderton, The 35 year old ex-serviceman, from Dartford, Kent, set the first blind speed ski world record , when he skied at 100.94 mph (162.45 kph) down the sheer `Flying Kilometre’ black run in the French ski resort of Les Arcs.

Arguably the world’s bravest skier, Kevin Alderton fought back to set world beating records after losing his sight in a mugging attack in 1998,The former soldier lost his sight when his eyes were gouged in a street attack when he went to the aid of a woman being beaten, around 25 men attacked him outside a nightclub in Islington, London, in 1998

Kevin is  the world’s only blind speed skier and is now working for a place in the 2010 British Paralympic team. He is entirely self-funded and relies on the generosity of the public and sponsors to enable him to continue with his blind speed skiing career.

LE PEN PORTRAITS  
LE PEN PORTRAITS
portraits of the FN leader at his home near paris.
OECD BOSS  
OECD Boss

Angel Gurria boss of OECD pictured at his office in Paris

FATHER OF THIRTY  

THEY consume eight loaves of bread, 15 litres of milk, six packets of cereal and a pound of butter a day, the washing machine has been working from dawn till dusk for the past 17 years, the school run takes two hours and four round trips and the ironing board hasn't been put away since 1990.  Meet the Reigner family.
 
Father-of-THIRTY Serge Reigner hasn't had a lie-in for almost two decades.  He hasn't been out for a beer with his pals for 12 years, he sold his golf clubs after the birth of his 11th child in 1992, and he finds it very difficult to reserve a restaurant table for his family at short notice.
 
Serge, 48, has one of the largest and most unusual family set-ups in Europe.  He lives in a suburb of Brussels, Belgium, with all 17 boys and 13 girls, and the THREE mothers of his enormous brood.  The children are aged six months to 20, and they all live at home.
FULL STORY AVAILABLE

VINCENT BOLLORE  

Vincent Bolloré businessman. One of the world's richest men. He leads the family investment group Bolloré. In 2005 he launched Direct 8 TV channel. He also took some participation in Bouygues group, as well as 20% of Havas, becoming its main share-holder and CEO. He also took 25% in Aegis end of 2005. In March 2006, he announced the launching of a free daily newspaper, Direct Soir, in September 2006.

MONET SEES LIGHT OF DAY  

Monet's waterlilies are back. Closed for over six years, the Orangerie in Paris’s Tuileries Gardens with Claude Monet’s masterpiece is open again. For the first time since 1959, the giant ‘‘Nympheas’’, 90 meters long and presented in two oval rooms — can be seen as the artist intended them, in natural light.
The restoration was undertaken because of a second-floor addition to the Musée de l'Orangerie prevented natural light falling on the paintings as Monet intended, he wanted the paintings to appear to change depending on the light conditions.
The much expanded museum has reopened, and the waterlilies are once again one of Paris' top art attractions. The canvases, installed in the museum in 1927, shortly after Monet's death, could not be moved. Construction and demolition had to take place around them. For protection, the paintings were sealed inside reinforced boxes, each attached to an alarm system.
Monet painted the Nympheas between 1914 and 1926 at his French country home in Giverny, in the northwestern region of Normandy. He offered them as a gift to France in 1918 following the end of WW 1

THIERRY HENRY HOME IN FRANCE  

Thierry Henry lived as a boy in the humble white concrete tower blocks of Les Ulis where he was born. 20 miles south west of the Eiffel Tower. Les Ulis was built in the 1970s for immigrant workers from Africa and the Caribbean, over half of its 28,000 inhabitants are from ethnic minorities.

Gritty and tough, with an honest working community it has many football pitches and tennis courts created to keep youngsters out of trouble that plagues these satellite towns. It was here at Les Ulis that Henry aged eight first kicked

PARIS RIOTS  

Youths overturned cars and set them on fire and threw petrol bombs, stones and bottles at riot police who drove them back with tear gas grenades as street protests turned increasingly violent Saturday. Students were protesting against employment reforms when clashes developed with police in Paris , leaving streets choking in tear gas fumes, shops vandalised and cars and shops in flames.

Over 160 people were arrested, as battle raged between masked youths and police.

BRAD AND ANGELINA'S PARIS ADVENTURE  

They are one of the worlds most famous and richest celebrity couples, and they have chosen an ugly concrete high-rise block in the 15th Arrondissement of Paris for the arrival of their first child together in May.

The apartment, where they have spent most of the past couple of months, is worlds away from their 3 acre Malibu estate bought for $8m with swimming pool, tennis courts and breath taking ocean views – a ultra-private paradise in which to raise children. Instead they have to cross busy roads in order to reach a run-down park that consists of a small bald patch of land enclosed by concrete walls and adorned with graffiti and dog mess, and are surrounded by cheap fast-food restaurants, a loud metro station and have to endure the problems of French plumbing and air conditioning, sometimes a " sickly, cabbage-type smell fills the entire building" says one of their neighbors.
FULL STORY AVAILABLE

FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION RAFAEL NADAL  

Spain's Rafael Nadal has returned to competitive action after almost four months out with a foot injury and to winning form.

The world number two, who had not played a competitive match since winning the Madrid Masters last October, began his season at the Marseille Open.

DA VINCI CODE CHATEAU UP FOR GRABS AT 16.5 MILLION POUNDS  

The chateau which was the inspiration for international best selling novel by Dan Brown and used in the film starring Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen and Audrey Tautou is on the market for a cool 16.5 million pounds.

Owned by Olivia Hsu Decker, from California, once a No1 estate agent with Merril Lynch, whose past clients include Andre Agassi, Cher, Eddie Murphy and Sharon Stone, bought the Chateau in 1999 for 4 million pounds and set about restoring it. The Chateau de Villette's many rooms and grounds were used for key events from the novel and as the residence of Sir Leigh Teabing, a British royal historian, who holds the secret at the heart of the code.
FULL STORY AVAILABLE

FACE TRANSPLANT WOMAN FACES THE WORLD  

Face transplant patient Isabelle Dinoire appeared before the world for the first time yesterday stating "I just want a normal life."

Ten weeks after her historic operation, Isabelle Dinoire is pleased with her transplanted nose, mouth and chin, she says. The 38-year-old mother of two teenage girls had been disfigured by her pet Labrador retriever.

I can open my mouth and eat. I feel my lips, my nose and my mouth," she said. "I expect to resume a normal life . . . I pay homage to the donor's family," "My operation could help others to live again."

Dinoire said she is eager to return home to her two daughters and to study and find a job. FULL STORY AVAILABLE

FASTEST CAR IN THE WORLD  

The Bugatti Veyron is the fastest, most powerful and most expensive production car in the world.
It boasts a one thousand horsepower, 16-cylinder engine with a top speed in excess of 250 miles, or 402 kilometres, per hour.
It is the fastest car in the world, faster even than Formula one car. It goes from 0-60mph in under 2.5 seconds, and can slow from 250mph is less than ten, at top speed it gets through 20 gallons every 12 minutes
Only 300 Veyrons will be made, costing about £820,000, making it the most expensive car ever made.
FULL STORY AVAILABLE

UNFREEZE YOUR PARENTS  

France's top administrative court has ruled that a man who had kept his parents frozen in caskets in the cellar of his chateau for years has to bury or cremate them, despite the final wishes of the deceased that their bodies be refrigerated in the hope that science might eventually bring them back to life.

The bodies of Dr. Raymond Martinot, a former doctor and enthusiast of cryogenics died in 2002, and his wife, Monique, who died in 1984 at age 49, have been kept at 60 degrees below zero in the crypt of the Martinot family chateau.

Remy Martinot is to take a 20-year battle to keep his dead parents in a deep-freeze to the European Court of Human Rights,after case was recently rejected by France's highest court. The Council of State ruled Remy Martinot had no right to keep the bodies in the cellar of his chateau in the Loire Valley.

THE BEAUTY TREATMENT YOU SPREAD ON TOAST  

A spoonful of a new "anti-wrinkle jam" with their morning coffee and croissant has been hailed by French women as a secret weapon for youthful-looking skin.

The pharmaceutical jam is marketed as "the first anti-wrinkle product you can savour". The jam, norélift, costs 7 EUROS (£4.90) for 120g and comes in three flavours: green tomato and green tea; melon and mango; and blueberry and blackcurrant.

It claims that it will make users look younger in a month, and says that a study by an independent laboratory found that almost 90 per cent of women who took a spoonful for 10 days said it had improved their skin.

NAZI BUNKER FOUND BY BRITON  

A secret Nazi underground bunker complex which has remained untouched for over sixty years has been found by an English amateur historian.

Gary Sterne found a series of bunkers after buying a second world war map.He visited the area near the Normandy beaches of Utah and Omaha, and was astonished to find the entrance to a military complex hidden under bramble bushes, that consisted of a labyrinth of bunkers.

"I followed the concrete right up to the edge of some trees and it was there I suddenly found the entrance to the underground block, then a tunnel, an office, a supplies warehouse, general quarters, a radio room, other blocks and, most importantly, a room with supports for 155mm guns," he added. "It even had an underground hospital. The Germans had left behind many personal possessions."

The bunker system is believed to be the most important of German defences constructed during the second world war.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE

ROME STAR CIARAN HINDS  

Star of the hit HBO series " ROME " Ciaran Hinds pictured in Paris where he now lives.

HIDDEN TERROR OF NAZI UNDERGROUND CAMP  

Sixty years after the war, documents recently uncovered in the Stasi, the East German secret police archive, reveal a large subterranean complex used by the Nazis as a concentration camp.

One of its survivors Geoffrey de Clercq tells a harrowing story of his time and of his escape.

Some 1500 prisoners worked to mine the underground chambers, many of whom died. Documents reveal that the SS had used the tunnels linking two shafts to hide priceless paintings and rare books.

"We worked in three shifts, 6am-2pm, 2-10pm and 10pm-6am,"said Geoffroy de Clercq, a French resistance fighter who arrived in Wansleben in March 1944

"One of my French friends tried to escape. He was captured three days later. He was brought back to the camp and hanged with two Russians. We all had to watch. The camp was not as terrible as others, like Auschwitz. But by March and April 1945 there was less and less to eat. The Germans had nothing to give us. The soup was clear."

On April 11 1945, with allied forces approaching, SS guards forced the surviving prisoners to leave the camp. "It was a death march," "Those who couldn't walk were shot by the side of the road. Between 50 and 70 of my comrades were killed."

Mr de Clercq escaped, but was recaptured by the SS". The patrol decided to execute him. An SS officer shot him in the head. Amazingly, Mr de Clercq survived, waking up hours later to discover the bullet had passed through his ear and jaw. He returned to Wansleben, and hid with the village grocer.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE

SPIDERMAN  

Nicknamed "Spiderman," Robert is a solo urban climber, free climbing high rocks and up the flat, smooth glass surfaces of skyscrapers. Alain Robert is the only urban climber in the world who uses no tools or safety devices of any kind. Using only his bare hands and feet, Robert has scaled more than 70 giant structures around the globe including many of the world's tallest structures.

On his travels to the world's highest or most challenging structures, Robert has conquered Canary Wharf, the Eiffel Tower, Chicago's Sears building, New York's Empire State building, the twin Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur, Centrepoint in Sydney, San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge and the world's tallest skyscraper, the 1,667ft Taipei 101 in Taiwan. This month, he reached the top of the 928ft Cheung Kong Centre in Hong Kong in about an hour.

Often, it means running afoul of the law. But Robert does it anyway. He's had the "pleasure" of seeing the inside of at least 30 jails.

But he has had his fair share of injuries. When he was 20, two serious accidents left the Frenchman disabled. He made a remarkable recovery and resumed climbing two years later.

When asked how many bones he's broken, Robert laughs and says: "Too many!" He estimates about 20, adding that he's slipped into comas a few times too.

THE FIRST WOMAN TO KNOW WORLD WAR 2 WAS OVER  

Susan Hibbert kept one of the biggest secrets of the war... the fact it was over.

In 1945, working in Reims, France she was given the job of typing out the Germans' surrender terms at Allied HQ.

On the morning on 7 May Susan witnessed history being made, the full capitulation of all Nazi forces.

Susan - who now lives in Abbots Ann, Hampshire - began typing the Act of Military Surrender on 6 May and finished some 20 hours later in the early hours of 7 May.

"Staff officers and interpreters were coming and going. We were not allowed to leave the room. There were constant changes and amendments. I often had to start again from the beginning. The British version of the surrender was quite basic, although a lot of people had worked on it."

The documents were finally taken to the "war room", which was covered floor to ceiling in maps where the surrender was signed, witnessed by Susan and her colleagues.

Sixty years on, she has been honoured with a medal presented by the mayor of Reims and was a guest of honor at a champagne reception in the presence of the Defence minister Michelle Alliot-Marie....FULL STORY AVAILABLE

HOT ON THE TRAIL OF THE GRAIL  
The Da Vinci Code - 20 million copies sold so far - has created the latest burst of enthusiasm and led to a DA VINCI code tour in Paris. The Church of Saint Sulpice in Paris and the Louvre in Paris, two of the key sites in the book, have been deluged with tourists following the trail of the grail legend.

The tour follows passages from the book through the Louvre taking in the spot where curator, Jacques Sauniere was found dead, spread eagled in the position of the Vitruvian Man, the guide tests the tourists on their knowledge of the book, which then leads to the next stages of the tour, Madonna of the rocks, the Mona Lisa and ultimately to saint Sulplice, where murderous monk Silas carries out his murder of Sister Sandrine.


Clusters of tourists, many with book in hand, study the various aspects of Brown's book, relating them to the sequence of the tour, hundreds crush in front of the Mona Lisa.

The Da Vinci mania has just begun but can only become overwehelming when filming starts this year on "The Da Vinci Code " - the movie staring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, the Harvard professor of religious symbology who is on the quest to find the Holy Grail.

MARIE DARRIEUSSECQ  
Marie Darrieussecq was born in 1969 in Bayonne, France. She is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Her debut novel, Pig Tales (1996), was published in 34 countries and became the most popular first novel in France since the 1950s. Her second novel, My Phantom Husband (1998), became an immediate bestseller. Her third novel, Breathing Underwater, prompted Francis Gilbert in The Times to declare that 'there are very few writers who may have changed my perception of the world, but Darrieussecq is one of them'.
TOM MASCHLER  
Tom Maschler was five when his family fled the Nazis in Vienna and brought him to England. As a teenager, he travelled widely, worked on a kibbutz and did national service before going on to become one of the most dynamic figures in publishing. He worked with, and discovered, some of the world's most celebrated writers, created the Booker prize and has now written a memoir

He is pictured here at his home in France which is for sale, full set of interiors/exteriors and portraits of Maschler.

PICASSO'S LOVER  
Starting when she was 24, Laporte had a two-year secret affair with the 70-year-old artist. She was a beautiful, former Resistance fighter, and Picasso sketched many times over: naked in bed, in a wedding gown, and various abstract portraits.


Genevieve Laporte, 79, shows a nude of her drawned by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, On June 27, Laporte has just sold 20 of Picasso's sketches in Paris, for $2.3 million. FULL STORY AVAILABLE

SOLAR PLANE  
EUROPEAN adventurers who made the first non-stop round-the-world flight by balloon now hope to take off in a long-range, solar-powered plane that can fly by night.
Its lanky wings measure some 80 metres across, equal in wingspan to that of the giant A380 Airbus, which also made its maiden public appearance at the French air show.

In contrast, though, Solar Impulse will weigh just two tonnes, the size of a large car, compared with the A380's 560 tonnes. It will also carry just a single passenger.

The power will come from 250 square metres of solar panels on the wings' upper surface. They will turn two engines, providing 40 horsepower of thrust - enough for a top speed of about 100km/h.

THE LEGEND OF KRUG CHAMPAGNE  
Created in 1843 by Johann-Jospeh Krug, the champagne has gone on to become one of the most prestigious drinks in the world.

From it's base in Reims, France the leadership has been passed down through five generations, today it is Remi Krug who is in charge of the production of 500,000 bottles per year.

It's dark cellars contain over five million bottles and traditional oak casks and hand turning techniques continue to this day.

Full reportage and story available.

FOIE GRAS UNDER THREAT  
The US, a major market for the French delicacy is under threat.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California has signed a bill that will outlaw the sale of the famous pate by 2012.

A major producer Michel Belon spoken out against the ban.

"I cannot believe that a country that values liberty so much would allow its people to be told what they can and can't eat at the table," he said.

Full story available

THE WORLDS LARGEST PLANE  

The Airbus A380 pictured at Le Bourget airshow in Paris, picture
set includes interiors, test pilots and plane in flight.

BRITISH SOE AGENT FIGHTS FOR FRENCH RECOGNITION  
Noreen Riols is a British woman who served in Winston Churchill's "secret army", the SOE.

Despite her wartime efforts, she is still fighting a 14 year battle to change the claim of the French that Britain was not a " war zone "

Noreen who served in the Special Operations executive, which lost 104 agents on French soil, feels indignation at her treatment from the French.

There were 39 female operatives of the SOE , 13 of whom, never returned from their missions.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE

THE WORLDS LARGEST COOKBOOK

 

1080 Pages, 700 recipes and a stone in weight.....!

Multi Michelin starred French chef Alain Ducasse has produced one of his famous and enormous cook books in English.

Everything about the Grand Livre (Big Book) of Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Culinary Encyclopedia, is grand, including the price. The 1,080-page tome weighs just under a stone and is believed to be the world's heaviest cookery book – although it is much lighter than the world's heaviest book, a Mohammed Ali tribute called G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) which weighed in at 5.3st when it was published in April last year.

Mr Ducasse's book contains 700 recipes, more than 1,000 photographs and the price, when it goes on sale in British bookshops in April, will be £130.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE FROM KIM WILLSHER

THE BAG THAT CHANGED THE WORLD  

Chanel's 2.55 handbag reaches it's 50th birthday this month.

The bag has hung from the famous arms of kate Moss,Renee Zellwegger, Hedid Klum , Sophie Dahl and many others.

Originally launched in 1955 by Gabrielle "coco" Chanel, fifty years later this limited edition will be sold for £860, the UK is only going to have 100 available.

The picture set follows the workers at the French workshop produce a bag from start to finish, it takes 2.5 hours to produce one bag, and only 12 are produced in a day.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE

COUPLE FIND LOVE AT AUSCHWITZ  

Auschwitz, the sinister concentration camp where the Nazis murdered millions during World War II, evokes feelings of horror and grief for many people.
The world's biggest graveyard rouses the same horror in Chantelle Buswell and Jeremy Josephs as among their elders but for the London couple Auschwitz inspires other feelings besides pain. Auschwitz is where their romance began. It provided a backdrop of tragedy for an overture dedicated to tenderness and love.
Although they were unaware of what lay ahead, romance blossomed from the moment they arrived in Poland.At the start of their journey they sat with their travel companions but they gradually become closer -choosing quiet corners of their tour coach and in restaurants because they wanted to chat alone."But we did not even hold hands on the trip to Poland," Chantelle recalled. "I found Jeremy serious and interesting. I liked the way he talks and I was attracted by his curly brown hair and blue eyes


On 10 April, one year after their journey to Aushwitz, the couple plan to marry in Maidenhead.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE

DUTROUX MURDER INVESTIGATION  
DUTROUX MURDER INVESTIGATION

Detectives investigating the evil paedophile Marc Dutroux could not believe what they were hearing.

The testimony from the young woman – codenamed X1 – who said she was a victim of the notorious pervert’s network, was explosive.

Dutroux was part of a massive and well-organised sex ring, which included some of the richest and most important men in Belgian society, she told them.

Asked to name names she reeled off a list of businessmen, politicians, aristocrats, bankers and even members of the judiciary who she said were part of this depraved network.

The ring, which included Dutroux, had raped, tortured and killed dozens of youngsters sometimes in the most horrific circumstances, she added, describing one of the most sickening of their ‘games’, the human hunt.

Victims, some a young as 10, and nicknamed ‘petits lapins’ (little rabbits) were ruthlessly tracked down and slaughtered like animals by bloodthirsty members of the ring armed with guns or crossbows.

The young woman gave details of other murders, details, police believed, she could have only known by being there.

In June after an eight-year inquiry Dutroux was finally sentenced to life imprisonment.

The hearing had taken 100 days and involved a dossier of more than 450,000 pages and 570 witnesses. At the end the judge declared that Dutroux was a lone predator. Claims of a network, he said, were “a fantasy”.

But the jury never heard a word from the mysterious Witness X1. She was never called to testify and her statements were never read in court.

Today, speaking for the first time since Dutroux’s trial, the secret witness, whose real name is Regina Louf, says the whole case was a cover-up.

“For me Dutroux’s conviction is just the beginning."
WINE WARS  
WINE WARS

A new film documentary called MONDOVINO created by American sommelier-turned-film-maker Jonathan Nossiter which examines the wine industry has created a sour taste, pitting French traditionalism up against American new world wine. The Montilles feature in a film which has a lot to say and raises serious questions about what we drink - and why.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE
PARIS MAYOR  
PARIS MAYOR

Bertrand Delanoe is mayor of Paris, a socialist visionary, championing minority groups and currently spearheading the hopes of France's Olympic bid.

He is the most prominent gay politician in France, a fact that led to his stabbing two years ago.

He has recently written his autobiography called " Life " and is pictured here in his office in the Paris town hall.

PROFILE PIECE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
POURCEL TWINS  
POURCEL TWINS Recognised best as one of the 50 finest restaurants in the world: Le Jardin des Sens is run by chef identical twins Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, Le Jardin has fed the likes of Gerard Depardieu, Christian Lacroix and Robert De Niro and the Michelin-starred identical Pourcel twins will soon open a restaurant in London.

RACE OF CHAMPIONS  
Michael Schumacher

The Race of Champions a yearly event since 1988, featured 16 drivers from various motor racing disciplines, including Formula One, rally and US stock and Indy-car circuits.

The Stade de France, normal home to the French football and rugby teams, was covered by a 1km asphalt track designed in a figure eight with a crossover bridge.

Michael Schumacher winner of a record 83 Grand Prix races and the last five Formula One championships with Ferrari, lost his racing group final to Kovalainen after incurring a 10-second penalty.

LOST LITERARY MASTERPIECE  
LOST LITERARY MASTERPIECE

LOST literary masterpiece about France's collaboration with the Nazis is to finally be published 62 years after the author's death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

The remarkable book was penned in minature handwriting in notebooks by Russian Jew Irene Nemirovsky in the years before she was arrested and sent to the concentration camps.

The two-volume work called Suite Francaise - unveiled to the publishing world by Irene's daughter last month - is now being hailed as the most important wartime writing since the Diaries of Anne Frank.

Rights to the 430-page work have now been sold in 18 countries, including Britain and the US, putting it on course to become the most successful French novel ever written.

French daily La Croix described it as, 'A gigantic literary and historical gift', and Le Point weekly magazine wrote "It is a masterpiece ripped from oblivion'.

With war looming, Irene wrote furiously, using smaller and smaller writing as she feared she would run out of ink. Then in 1942, Irene and Michel were both arrested and sent to the death camps, where both perished in the gas chambers.

Daughter Denise Epstein, now 75, said: "All the time we were in that village, I just remember mother writing, writing, writing. It was as if she knew she was writing against time.

"Indeed, reading between the lines, her notes show she knew full well that if ever her final work was published, it would be posthumously."

FULL STORY AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

MAGIC ROUNDABOUT RETURNS  
MAGIC ROUNDABOUT RETURNS

This year The Magic Roundabout, one of the most successful children’s programmes of all time, celebrates its 40th birthday.

Now, a quarter of a century years after it disappeared from our screens, Dougal and Co are set for a revival with a £12.8 million feature film starring the voices of Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Sir Ian McKellen and Joanna Lumley.

Many Magic Roundabout fans were entirely unaware – unless they had bothered to study the credits – that the hit programme had started out as a French production. The widow of it's creator tells the story of it's history and her late husband, FULL STORY AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST


DA VINCI CODE BOOK CAUSES MAYHEM
 
DA VINCI CODE BOOK CAUSES MAYHEM

Rennes-le-Chateau has become the latest victim of The Da Vinci Code fever. Since its publication 20 months ago, Dan Brown's heady mix of fiction, fact and legend has sold more than nine million copies in 42 languages.
Until recently the mayor of the village, Jean-Franois L'Huilier, seemed to be winning the battle against fortune-seekers who tried to disinter bodies and dynamite holes in the walls of its 11th-century church looking for relics.

Legend has it that the area, known as the "Valley of God" and once a remote Roman outpost, conceals an remarkable collection of religious relics and treasures. They are said to range from simple pots of gold to the body of Jesus Christ, the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant.
FULL STORY AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST


WORLD'S FIRST OVARIAN TRANSPLANT  
WORLD'S FIRST OVARIAN TRANSPLANT

Ovarian tissue from Ouarda Touirat, 32, was removed and frozen seven years ago before she was treated with chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

After she got the all-clear, doctors at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, reimplanted pieces of ovarian tissue next to her non-functioning ovary. Within months, Mrs Touirat conceived.

And recently she gave birth to a healthy girl.

Doctors claimed that the technique offered hope to thousands of patients girls and young women who would otherwise be made infertile by cancer treatment.

It also raised the prospect of women being able to postpone the menopause by freezing ovarian tissue in their 20s and then having it returned. FULL STORY AVAILABLE.


SUPER MODEL IN BID FOR PRESIDENCY
 
SUPER MODEL IN BID FOR PRESIDENCY

A former Cat-walk princess is seeking power in Burundi by standing for president despite death threats

Esther Kamatari, a former catwalk model who has lived most of her adult life in Paris, claims that the menacing letters and telephone calls started to arrive after she won support in Burundi, where ethnic violence has killed more than 300,000 people over the past decade.

Miss Kamatari, 53, who fled Burundi in 1970 after the assassination of her father, the brother of the then King Mwambutsa IV, says she will not be intimidated.

Miss Kamatari, who modelled for leading designers such as Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970s and 1980s, has a simple response. "It's time for me to give something back to my country, my people.

FULL STORY AVAILABLE FROM KIM WILLSHER


CHOCOLATE FASHION
 
CHOCOLATE FASHION

IF this scantily-clad beauty wasn't enough to get the men drooling, then her UNDERWEAR certainly would!

The stunning model left male onlookers literally salivating as she posed in a new range of lingerie made entirely out of chocolate at the annual chocoholics trade fair in Paris.

And ravishing former Miss France Elodie Goussin, 25, gave dads a tasty treat with a revealing edible dress that would simply melt away when the heating was turned up.

But the Salon de Chocolat exhibition did not end with the models posing in a range mouth-watering garments.

The world's best chocolatiers exhibited a staggering array of wacky creations all crafted from everyone's favorite snack.

There was chocolate headwear that gave new meaning to the expression 'eat your hat'.

Also on show were chocolate guitars, chocolate handbags and chocolate sculptures of the Sphinx and the Venus de Milo. One stand featured a chocolate Eiffel Tower built from hundreds of bars of finest dark chocolate.


CAROL DRINKWATER
 

Carol Drinkwater shares her olive farm dreams

Carol has written two best-selling memoirs about her life on the farm - The Olive Farm and The Olive Season - and has recently published the conclusion to the trilogy.

Full set of pictures at her olive grove in the south of France.


DOG ADOPTS
TIGER CUB
 
DOG ADOPTS  TIGER CUB

THEY should be fighting like cat and dog... but this furry feline seems to have mistaken a puzzled pooch for his MUM! And the way things are looking, it could end up being a dog's life for Cora the tiger cub. At just three days old, the baby tiger was left to starve because her own mother - a Bengal tigress who is the star of a French-based travelling circus - could only produce enough milk for two of her three little ones. So the famished infant was literally sent to the dog-house, where she was adopted by a 13-year-old pointer named Diane who had just had a litter of her own. Cora now suckles happily on her new mother's milk, along with two puppies who she thinks are her brother and sister. And Diane seems so far not to have noticed that while two of her offspring are woofing with delight, the third one is stripey and emits a husky miaow! FULL STORY AVAILABLE

SUN WATER  
Suntan water

A revolutionary type of bottled water that allows users to DRINK their way to a sun-tan has been developed by scientists in France. The miracle bronzing beverage is said to you an all-over tan without the risk of skin cancer or ugly 'tango-tan' marks from rub-on tanning lotions. And at just four pounds for a 500ml a bottle, it's a lot cheaper than two weeks in the Caribbean...........

FRANCES OLDEST CASTLE SAVED BY BRIT  
Castle saved by Brit

The Donjon de Montbazon,a part of French history neglected by french authorities despite it being the country's oldest castle and the "grandfather" of all those built in England. It had a history of famous visitors which included Richard the Lionheart, French kings, including Charles VII and Louis XI and William the Conquerer who took the style of the castle to England after 1066,the Donjon was also owned by English kings, and was the model for the original Tower of London. Lying in neglect and disrepair,it took a Yorkshireman to come to the rescue

GLADIATOR BATTLES AT LIFE SIZE COLISSEUM  
Gladiator Show

Horses and chariots thunder around and the blades clash off each other at the life-size Roman Colisseum which is also the setting for gladiatorial sword fights and for live lions and tigers - and you can be part of the audience. For this is the world's first stadium specifically built to re- stage the gory games for which Ancient Rome was infamous.

CHATEAU DE GUEDELON  
Chateau Guedelon

Through a clearing in the dense Burgundy forest, the kestrels that perch on the ancient stone walls of the castle are spectral in the early morning mist. Half-formed turrets mark the corners of the giant gothic structure; the drawbridge is missing; the moat is dry. But this is not some crumbling 800-year-old chateau, abandoned by tourists, quietly decaying in a remote corner of France. Neither is this castle a medieval theme park nor a movie-set, and it is certainly not falling down. In fact, it is still being built - entirely from scratch and using original 13th century rules, materials and techniques. When it is finished in 25 years time, the Chateau de Guedelon will be a full-sized castle with battlements and a moat and drawbridge and six towers. It will also be the first medieval castle to be built anywhere in the world since the 13the century

TEXT - ILLEGAL TRADE IN PET PELTS  
Dog fur coats

This full-length coat is made from the skins of 42 Alsatian puppies, and other items are fashioned from cats and dogs, a rug made from the coats of four golden retrievers,and cats fashioned into scarves and linings of gloves and ski boots, several euro MEPS are fighting to make the trade illegal.

PARIS HAUTE COUTURE
 
Paris Haute Couture

Paris fashion week - Dior and Christian Lacroix

SIR ALFRED  
SIR ALFRED "Sir Alfred," whose real name is Merhan Karimi Nasseri, is an Iranian exile who has been living in the passenger area of the airport here since 1988. Without a passport, he has been stuck in a kind of legal twilight zone. In June 2004 a film will be released about his life staring Tom hanks and catherine zeta jones
AIRPORT ACCIDENT  
AIRPORT ACCIDENT

A section of the futuristic, cylindrical passenger terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport collapsed Sunday, killing five people and injuring three in a shower of concrete, glass and steel

TRAVEL  
TRAVEL

New travel images

BURNED ALIVE  
BURNED ALIVE

The first true account ever published by a victim of an "honor crime," Souad's testimony is a shocking, moving, and harrowing story of cruelty...and incomparable courage when she was set on fire by her brother in-law for daring to have sex before marriage.

BREAD COUTURE  
BREAD COUTURE

Jean-Paul Gaultier has created an entire collection of clothes in dough. France's traditional baquette has been converted into a fashion range , rolls shaped into wigs and slices of bread shaped into flounces on a dress, there are brollies, bags and wicker worked into bustiers, even the conical bras he made for madonna have been created from dough..... FULL STORY AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

ANDREI MAKINE  
ANDREI MAKINE ANDREI MAKINE : Serbian born author ANDREI MAKINE escaped to Paris when he was 30 and wrote his first book in french while sleeping rough in a cemetery. After many rejections he managed to find a publisher having to pretend his book had been translated from the Russian. His novels have been greatly acclaimed winning France's two top literary prizes and is considered one of europe's best authors.
TRAVEL  
TRAVEL TRAVEL : New photos of Cannes, St Tropez, Nice, Monaco, Port Grimaud please enter search keyword above to view.
PASCAL REMY  
PASCAL REMY Michelin restaurant guide inspector Pascal Remy was fired for revealing trade secrets, his has now released a book called" L'Inspecteur se met a table" In the book he reveals slipping standards of inspection and of some chefs "being untouchable"
PARIS  
PARIS New pictures of many of Paris monuments and famous tourist attractions, please enter keyword in search box to view.
ANTOINE DE CAUNES  
ANTOINE DE CAUNES Antoine de Caunes is best known for his facetiousness as a television presenter on Eurotrash. But he has recently directed a new film about Napoleon, called Monsieur N due for release in the UK soon.
D-DAY  
D-DAY D-Day vets pay respects in the American cemetary at Omaha beach, this year will see the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
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