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French burqa ban not discriminatory, court declares

The French burqa ban does not breach human rights laws and is not discriminatory, the European Court of Human Rights has declared.

The case, which has important implications for the UK, followed a complaint by a French woman, who is a practising Muslim, that she is no longer allowed to wear the full-face veil because of a law prohibiting concealment of the face in public places in France.

The French ban on face covering was passed in 2010. Credit: PA

The European Court's Grand Chamber declared that the law did not violate the right to respect for privacy and family.

It also said there had been no violation of the protection of respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

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Sarkozy questioned over his 2007 election campaign

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is being held for questioning over suspicions he received leaked details of an inquiry into alleged irregularities in his 2007 election campaign.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Credit: Reuters

It is the first time a former head of state had been held for questioning in modern French history and is the latest blow to Sarkozy's hopes of a come-back after his 2012 election defeat by Francois Hollande.

The conservative politician denies all wrong-doing in a string of investigations involving him.

Asked about the matter, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Sarkozy was "subject to justice like everyone else."

'Unprecedented' for ex president to be held in this way

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained for questioning, as part of an investigation into corruption.

Europe Editor James Mates has tweeted:

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Unprecedented for a former president to be held in this way. #Sarkozy thought to have been planning a return to frontline politics.

Ex French president questioned in corruption probe

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is being held for questioning, as part of a corruption investigation, Reuters reports.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Credit: Reuters

Sarkozy arrived early this morning to be quizzed by investigators at their offices in Nanterre, west of Paris, after his lawyer was held for questioning on Monday.

"Mr. Sarkozy has been summoned to Nanterre and is being held for questioning," a source told Reuters.

Flight disruption warning as French strikes begin

Easyjet has been forced to cancel 32 services due to the strikes.
Easyjet has been forced to cancel 32 services due to the strikes. Credit: Ralf Hirschberger/DPA

Strikes by French air traffic control staff have led to dozens of European flights being cancelled, with some travel to, from and over the country affected.

The six-day industrial action has seen more than 50 flights cancelled already, with easyJet forced to cancel 32 services due to fly today while Ryanair dropped 26.

Experts have urged travellers to check their flight details before reaching the airport to find out if they will be affected.

None of the axed Ryanair or easyJet are flights that connect with the UK, and easyJet, which had feared it would have to axe around 50% of its French-connecting services, was told today by French air traffic control company DAGC that only 20% would have to be cancelled.

British Airways has, however, cancelled three UK flights tomorrow, from Heathrow to the French cities of Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse.

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First female European football coach will not take job

Helena Costa was appointed Clermont manager in May but now will not take up the position. Credit: Reuters

Helena Costa, the first woman to be appointed coach of a men's team in the top two divisions of European football, has quit before taking charge of French club Clermont.

"Helena Costa has decided not to keep her commitments to Clermont and she will therefore not be the club's coach next season," the Ligue 2 club's president, Claude Michy, said in a statement.

"This is a sudden and disappointing decision."

Portuguese Costa, 36, had previously coached the Iran women's national team and scouted for Scottish Premier League club Celtic. No woman had come as close as Costa to coaching a top men's professional team in Europe.

Paris bridge railing buckles under weight of 'love-locks'

A bridge in Paris was evacuated yesterday after a part of the railing collapsed under the weight of thousands of 'love-locks'.

Since 2008, lovers have been securing padlocks to the Pont des Arts bridge and throwing the keys into the Seine River to declare their love for one another.

A 'love-lock' pictured on the Pont des Arts bridge, Paris. Credit: Wyters Alban/ABACA/PA

No injures were reported, but a debate as to whether thousands of padlocks that cover the length of the bridge should be removed, has again been raised in an online petition.

Queen's Royal engagements abroad 'far from over'

Speculation that the three day visit to France may be the Queen's last overseas trip, could prove to be just rumours, as Royal officials have stated that she will travel again next year.

ITV News Royal correspondent Tim Ewart reports from Paris:

Later this month the Queen, now 88, visits Northern Ireland suggesting she is not ready to hand over her overseas duties to her successor just yet.

More: Queen visits Parisian flower market during state visit

Queen has Parisian flower market named in her honour

The Queen received a special accolade from the people of Paris today, after a flower market in the city was renamed in her honour.

The market famed for its blooms is very close to Notre Dame Cathedral and will be known as Marche aux Fleurs - Reine Elizabeth II.

The tribute comes on the last day of the Queen's three-day state visit to France with the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen visited the flower garden with the Duke as well as the French president, Franciois Hollande.

More: Queen visits Parisian flower market during state visit

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