Travel
 

From new non-stop flights and 'Place Pins' to photo workshops and air bridges

Court casts a beady eye on Europe's tax havens: A French Alpine region gets duty-free cars, and Vatican workers two bottles of spirit three times a week. Andrew Marshall examines customs curios left by centuries of European border battles

THE good times may be over for those strange islands in Europe, Andorra, San Marino and Monaco. Gibraltar is under siege. The duty-free arrangements of the Vatican are being scrutinised. The beady eye of the European Community has been attracted by the customs systems of these tiny enclaves, and its Court of Auditors has put them under the microscope.

Sports Listings: Plan Ahead - Tour de France

THIS year's Tour de France, the world's greatest cycling race, will be one of the toughest with mountain stages in the Alps and the Pyrenees and three time trials. Starting in Le Puy du Fou on 3 July, the 80th Tour keeps to France, with the exception of a vist to Andorra, and ends on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on 25 July.

Departures: Early snow option

BOOKINGS for ski holidays last winter were badly hit by the sharp fall in the value of the pound against the currencies of the main ski destinations. To offset the higher prices and to promote early bookings for next winter, Thomson Holidays is offering discounts worth up to pounds 50 on its Ski Thomson programme.

Andorrans reject feudalism

ANDORRA LA VELLA (Reuter) - The tiny Pyrenean principality of Andorra, still largely run on feudal lines, yesterday voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new democratic constitution. The final result of a referendum on the constitution showed 74.2 per cent had voted 'yes', with 25.8 per cent opposed; 75.7 per cent of the 9,123 native Andorrans eligible to vote among a population of 60,000 cast their ballot. For 715 years Andorra has been a co- principality whose joint sovereigns are the French head of state and the bishop of the nearby Spanish town of Seo de Urgel. Under the new constitution it can make its own foreign policy and join international organisations.

Travel: The Alps it isn't, but . . .: Andorra has its special attractions. Chris Gill talks to two families about the cheap and cheerful pleasures of skiing in the Pyrenees

ANDORRA has a reputation for relatively limited skiing and cheap and cheerful, duty-free, British-dominated apres-ski. It does not force itself to the attention of the super-sophisticated skier; and because it's in the Pyrenees - mountains devoid of resorts of the first rank and inconveniently remote from the Alps - it's not often near the top of the list for world-weary resort hoppers.

Democracy at last

ANDORRA LA VELLA (Reuter) - Andorra's parliament approved a draft constitution which will bring democracy after seven centuries of feudal rule. The 28-member General Council of the Valleys voted unanimously for the draft, which will put sovereignty into the hands of Andorra's people for the first time since the tiny principality was founded in 1278.

Travle: At last, teachers without attitude: You're in the Alps and you want a lesson, but not in broken English. Chris Gill offers help

ONE of the many appealing aspects of skiing in North America and one of the few appealing aspects of skiing in northern Britain is the ready availability of tuition from instructors whose first language is English. When you first encounter this, the contrast with the usual alpine form of tuition can be very striking indeed.

Cycling: Tour returns to savour home soil

THE Tour de France is going back to its roots in 1993. The world's most famous cycling race, which went through seven European countries last July, will head back to the roads of France and towards the mountains between 3 and 25 July in 1993.

Sport in Short: Roller Hockey

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Andorra) Group B: England 6 Mexico 2; England 40 Pakistan 0.

FOOD / Persia on my mind

NAJMIEH BATMANGLIJ tells the story of a princely feast to which a poorly dressed guest showed up. Given his ragged cloak, he saw that he would get the least of everything, so he went home to dress in a more splendid fashion. Thus accoutred, he returned to the feast and, now taken for an eminent person, was promptly served the best of everything. Whereupon he rubbed the food into his turban and silken cloak. His host asked about his curious eating habits, and was told: 'Nothing special. The cloak and turban got me here and got me the food. Surely they deserve their share?'
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth gamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
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Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
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Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
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Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
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Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
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The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game