News A Syrian rebel support group has threatened to blow up the Atomium in Brussels

A plot to attack the Belgian capital stokes fears Europe will targeted by radicalised fighters returning from Syria. Charlotte McDonald-Gibson reports from Brussels

Unpublished Rubens drawings recover from earlier identity crisis

THE HAND of Rubens has been identified in previously unpublished drawings on either side of a single sheet, writes Dalya Alberge.

The European Elections: Party tricks fail to woo Belgian voters: Fiesta Time: Beer and tombola may not save coalition, Sarah Lambert reports from Geel

Belgians are happy for an excuse to party. Yesterday, on the only sunny day of the year, about 800 party-lovers in this small town squeezed into a tent, bent on enjoying the traditional rites of summer, sing-along music, beer and the chance to win on the tombola. But it was not fun for fun's sake. Unusually in a country with little appetite for politics, this was a party for Europe.

Travel: Belgium is in fashion, and that's flat: Antwerp has been quietly turning out talented designers for years. Now it is where those in the know go, among them Alix Sharkey

Big docks, nice paintings, decent football team, fresh mussels, great beer, chocolates to die for, and an in-your-face baroque cathedral bang in the middle. That is the Antwerp story, right there. Or it was until six or seven years ago. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the Nineties.

Travel: A flying start from the Thames: London City Airport offers a taste of journeys from a bygone age. Frank Barrett indulges in a spot of time travel, keeping his feet firmly on the ground

When I tried to buy a ticket to London City Airport at my local tube station, the clerk was perplexed: 'London Airport: you want Heathrow or Gatwick?' he demanded. His ignorance was understandable: would anybody on the Clapham Omnibus, given a map of London, be able to put their finger on the City's airport?

Letter: A capital location for a rhetorical Hell

Sir: Has Miles Kington ('An Antwerp clog - now what would Froggy say?', 30 March) not misheard or been misinformed?

An Antwerp clog - now what would Froggy say?

WE HAD a French teacher at school whose name was Ian Hunter, but who was known to succeeding generations as 'Froggy' Hunter, which just goes to show what a wonderfully inventive sense of humour the English have, even when young. Hunter must have had a sense of humour himself in electing to try to teach languages to British children for, as he himself often said, the British have no inbuilt urge to learn other languages.

The Reith Lectures 1994: Boys will be Boys: The Making of the Male: Marina Warner, in the second lecture of a series entitled 'Managing Monsters', on the threads linking ancient myths and modern machismo

On my way to the Future Entertainment Show at Olympia last year, I found I was the only woman waiting for the Tube. The station was unusually full for the middle of the morning, with scattered groups of young men in jeans and trainers, gaggles of young boys and, with some of the boys, their fathers. When the train came and the carriage doors opened, a rather dazed looking pigeon fluttered out. A man near me laughed. 'Don't worry,' he said, 'it's only a virtual reality pigeon.'

Letter: A Greek contribution to Europe

Sir: Your fears ('Greece's presidency tests the Twelve', 5 January) for the effects on the European Union of the six-month Greek Council presidency are unjustified. Apart from the issue of Macedonia, the Greek government is more in the mainstream of European thinking than is the UK government.

'The Boys' try to do a man's job: Richard Dowden, in Freetown, reports on the young officers who hold power in Sierra Leone

THE OFFICIAL portrait shows him in battledress but he looks away from the camera, with soft lost-boy eyes. At the age of 27, Captain Valentine Strasser is the world's youngest head of state. He is also the shyest. His daily public non-appearance consists of a convoy of seven Land Rovers filled with heavily armed uniformed youths who pose Rambo-style in reflecting sunglasses, one leg draped casually over the tailboard.

Belgium clash

Police used water cannon against workers yesterday as Belgium's powerful trade unions began a series of strikes and demonstrations to try to force the government to soften its tough package of austerity measures, Reuter reports from Brussels.

Tennis: Ivanisevic stays in contention

GORAN IVANISEVIC stayed on course for next week's ATP finals in Frankfurt by defeating the Belgian, Johan Van Herck, in the second round of the European Community Championship in Antwerp yesterday.

Letter: Stop these fascists

Sir: Bravo to the Anti-Nazi League and the Unity march last weekend. I am a resident of Belgium, whose second largest city, Antwerp, already votes 25 per cent for the right-wing Flemish Vlams Blok. In our neighbour France, Le Pen and the Front Nationale now gains more than 14 per cent of the national vote, with much higher votes in various regions. Both these parties are not merely right wing, but clearly fascist, dreaming of recreating Hitler's Nazi Europe.

MUSIC / The phoenix rises: Anthony Payne on the British premiere of Berlioz's 'lost' Mass at Westminster Cathedral

THE excitement surrounding the discovery of the long-lost manuscript of Berlioz's early Messe solennelle has been considerable. Berlioz declared in his memoirs that he'd burnt it, but it turned up three years ago in the organ loft of an Antwerp parish church.

Prostitute's homage to caring King

A FORMER prostitute paid an emotional homage to King Baudouin at the funeral Mass. One of a handful of people chosen to deliver orations, Luz Oral, a Filipino, praised the King for his fight against the international sex trade. She stood in silence as a writer, Chris de Stoop, read aloud the words she had written. Ms Oral had met the King when he paid a highly-publicised visit to a brothel in Antwerp, and De Stoop said both the King and Queen had wanted her to address the funeral. This was her homage:

The Sunday Preview: Exploiting the free movement of labour

THERE is a single currency in Europe and it's called dance. Tanz Werk Statt Europa, or Dance Workshop Europe, brings together young choreographers from four EC countries and invites them to make work around the same theme. This year, the third, the choreographers are Claire Russ (UK, above), Veerle Bakelants (Belgium), Urs Dietrich (Germany), and Christine Marneffe (France). Their pieces on the theme of 'removals' were shown in Munich last week and will be performed in London, Antwerp, Ghent and Angers. Claire Russ's sensuous Heirs and Graces is about the removal of clothing, stripping away and being, about the past and future of a strange family that may be rural or may perhaps inhabit a royal court. (The Place, London, WC1, 071-387 0031, Tues & Wed.)
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?