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Unpublished Rubens drawings recover from earlier identity crisis

THE HAND of Rubens has been identified in previously unpublished drawings on either side of a single sheet, writes Dalya Alberge.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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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album