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Unpublished Rubens drawings recover from earlier identity crisis

THE HAND of Rubens has been identified in previously unpublished drawings on either side of a single sheet, writes Dalya Alberge.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

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
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Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
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Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
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How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash