How I survived a Chinese ‘re-education’ camp for Uighurs

After 10 years living in France, I returned to China to sign some papers and I was locked up. For the next two years, I was systematically dehumanised, humiliated and brainwashed The man on the phone said he worked for the oil company, “In accounting, actually”. His voice was unfamiliar to me. At first, I […]

Call My Agent’s Camille Cottin: ‘Don’t we need culture more than we need shopping?’

The scene-stealing star of the French comedy series – a word-of-mouth Netflix hit – on her journey from a prank show in Paris to co-stardom with Matt Damon “I bought a few sheep during lockdown. Nobody told me they’d eat all my plants. How Parisian is that?” I’m discussing the pandemic with actor Camille Cottin, […]

How we met: ‘She stood right next to me. I assumed she fancied my PhD student’

Neuropsychologists Chris Moulin and Céline Souchay, 47, fell in love after a conference in 2004. They live with their sons in Grenoble Although Chris Moulin and Céline Souchay met at a scientific conference in France in 1999, they didn’t make a lasting impression on each other at the time. “I remember that Chris had long […]

Why Provence’s pompe à l’huile means Christmas to me – plus the recipe

A wonderful bread that used to be made by dumping flour into the olive mill to soak up the oil is a vital part of Christmas in rural south-east France We lived in rural Provence for almost a decade and every Christmas Eve gradually reduced our consumption of imported mince pies, brandy snaps and liqueur-filled […]

How have you been affected by the coronavirus travel ban from the UK to many overseas destinations?

We’d like to hear from people who have been impacted by the travel ban imposed on countries including France and India France’s ban on UK transport came as surprise, says transport minister Grant Shapps Most European countries have banned flights and ferries carrying passengers from the UK in an attempt to stop a new variant […]

Share your experiences of the travel delays in Kent

We’d like to hear from lorry drivers and local residents about the impact the travel chaos in Kent has had on them Miles of lorry queues and travel chaos are expected across Kent on Monday, after France announced a 48-hour ban on passengers and freight entering from the UK. It follows five-mile queues over the […]

‘I am sick of comfort wear’: how 2020 legitimised leggings

For many of us, this year has involved a lot of working from home – and with it comfort. But when things return to ‘normal’, don’t expect the spandex to disappear It is Monday morning and time for her weekly video meeting, so Alice, a 35-year-old author and writer based in Paris, does what she […]

Leap of faith for historic home in France

To renovate her parents’ home, one French designer insisted they throw everything out and start from scratch After graduating from architecture school, Marine Bonnefoy decided it was time to get her hands dirty. “My studies were very intellectually oriented and had no link to actual construction,” she recalls. “By the end of them, I hadn’t […]

Legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company begs for help in pandemic

The landmark store has seen sales fall 80% since March, and with a new lockdown expected has asked for orders from those who can afford it One of the world’s most iconic bookshops, Shakespeare and Company, has appealed to its customers for help as it is struggling, with sales that are down almost 80% since […]

Bars in Paris before and after Covid curfew – in pictures

On Saturday, Paris went under a night-time curfew that will last at least a month. France has reported another record for new coronavirus cases, with more than 32,000 registered in 24 hours Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A bar on the Rue de Seine Continue reading…

‘I heard the doctor was drunk, and my world fell apart,’ says grieving mother

Parents of Xynthia Hawke speak out after trial in France hears how anaesthetist botched ventilation during caesarean Hanging in Clare and Fraser Hawke’s Somerset home is a photo of a group of people standing outside, eyes closed and faces tilted to the sun. “Every time I look at it, I think of Xynthia,” says Clare. […]

Storm Alex brings flooding and devastation to south-eastern France – in pictures

Flooding from record rains in a mountainous region of France and Italy has killed two people and left at least nine missing. Storm Alex ravaged villages around the city of Nice on the French Riviera, sweeping away roads and damaging homes. The storm moved across south-eastern France before hitting northern Italy Continue reading…

New Caledonia rejects independence from France for second time

Secessionists say they will take their campaign to third referendum in 2022 Voters in the French territory of New Caledonia in the south Pacific have narrowly rejected – for a second time – a proposal to break away from Paris, choosing to remain loyal to the French republic in a nationwide referendum. But campaigners for […]

Prayers and criticism as public figures react to Trump Covid news

Sympathy for president and first lady but coronavirus diagnoses no surprise, say some Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Politicians and other public figures in the US and around the world have reacted to Donald Trump’s Covid diagnosis by offering well-wishes, while some pointed out that the president had repeatedly downplayed the […]

Airborne jubilation at the Women’s World Cup: Rob Cianflone’s best photograph

‘I was about to shoot Alex Morgan, captain of the USA team, celebrating – when Kelley O’Hara flew in, fists clenched and ponytail up in the air’ The key to a great sports shot is timing … and a lot of luck. There might be an amazing shot about to happen and then a player […]

What lessons can Europe learn from Sweden’s Covid-19 experience?

Experts say that while contested ‘light touch’ response warrants study each country must find right approach for them Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage EU governments that locked down are increasingly emulating the one that did not, but experts warn that Sweden’s Covid approach, relying more on voluntary compliance than coercion, will […]

The Kent border: I have a secret plan to reunite our divided country – and it involves traffic jams

A de facto border can only mean one thing: seven-mile tailbacks. And no one, whatever their political persuasion, is in favour of that There is to be a new land border with Kent. Technically, it isn’t a border; it is just that lorries won’t be allowed into the county from the rest of England unless […]

‘Totally awakened’: how tragedy has left Italians alert to deadly virus

Memory of crammed hospitals lingers in adherence to Covid rules and Italy is faring better than others Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Morena Colombi, from Truccazzano, a small town near Milan, was among the first people in Italy to test positive for Covid-19 and knows only too well the impact of […]

Risking the Channel ‘death route’ to Britain – a photo essay

For three weeks, two teams from Agence France-Presse followed Walid, a Kuwaiti, Falah, an Iraqi, and his two daughters, from the town of Grande-Synthe in northern France to Dover via the choppy waters of the Channel. Photographs by Sameer Al-Doumy. Text by by Clement Melki, Sameer Al-Doumy, Thomas Bernardi with the London bureau Sameer Al-Doumy […]

Fantastic beasts: an artist’s imaginative home makeover in France

Artist Kristjana S Williams has used the walls of her home as another canvas, letting a menagerie run riot The artwork hanging on the walls of Kristjana S Williams’ house pales beside the walls themselves: there are giant murals featuring tropical birds, oversized leaves, green vistas, and ferns that snake up from floor height to […]

‘I needed to stand up’: young refugees learn to take on MPs and the UK media

The voices of young asylum seekers have been absent from the debate over their futures – until a charity decided to teach them public speaking Naqeeb, a 20-year old refugee from Afghanistan, has watched with increasing dismay the reaction of politicians and journalists to the people who are risking their lives attempting to reach the […]

France: senior military officer suspected of spying for Russia

Defence minister confirms security breach that may have supplied sensitive documents to Kremlin The French government is investigating a senior military officer over a “security breach”, the defence minister has said, following a report the person was suspected of spying for Russia. “What I can confirm is that a senior officer is facing legal proceedings […]

Armed robbers take £8m after attack on security van in Lyon

Loomis chief executive calls robbery ‘an audacious attack, right in the city centre’ Robbers in the southeastern French city of Lyon have stolen €9m (£8m) in an armed attack on an armoured security vehicle. It is believed to be the biggest cash heist in France since notorious robber Toni Musulin in 2009 made off with […]

The UK economy in August: sales jump but tough choices lie ahead

As the national debt breaches the £2tn mark, here is our snapshot of what is happening ‘Eat out to help out’ fuels UK economic recovery in August Frances O’Grady: act now to avoid mass unemployment Daily new coronavirus infections peaked in early April and fell between May and early July. Since then there has been […]

Tell us about your return to the UK from countries on the quarantine list

The number of places which people need to self-isolate after returning from is growing. Share your experiences We would like to hear from people about their experiences arriving at UK airports, ports and train stations from countries on the quarantine list, such as Croatia, France, Spain and Luxembourg. Continue reading…