Travel

Mons is embracing the future as it prepares for its role as next year’s European Capital of Culture, but it’s also steeped in intriguing history. Philip Sweeney explores its two sides

Kalashnikov with his creation, the most successful assault rifle ever made

Is Mikhail Kalashnikov in Hell? The man was confident he would not go there

World view: When I met him, his Siberian eyes were as alert as a wolf’s; he was brash, tough, unashamed. I guess he had to be

Egypt declares Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation

Egypt's interim government has blamed the group for an attack on police headquarters

File image: A police issue Taser X26 stun gun. Devon and Cornwall Police are currently carrying out an investigation supervised by the IPCC after officers Tasered three teenagers with learning difficulties

Police Taser three teenage pupils with learning difficulties

An investigation has been launched after police Tasered three teenage boys with complex learning difficulties after being called to a school

Men inspect the rubble in the Egyptian city of Mansoura, north of Cairo, following a powerful explosion

At least 14 dead in explosion at security headquarters in Egypt

The suspected car bomb left hundreds wounded in the city north of Cairo

British soldier killed by enemy fire serving in Afghanistan with the Royal Engineers

A British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan while serving with the Royal Engineers.

Kalashnikov c. 1949, by which time his gun was standard issue for the Red Army

Mikhail Kalashnikov: Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

With his stocky frame, and his general's uniform smothered with medals, Mikhail Kalashnikov looked the quintessential Soviet military veteran. But he was a veteran with a difference. For one thing he was a keen and lifelong poet. For another, having been badly wounded fighting the German invader around Bryansk in October 1941, early in what Russians still call the Great Patriotic War, he conceived what would become the most famous assault rifle in the world.

Chadian peacekeepers fire on demonstrators in Central African republic

Peacekeepers from Chad opened fire on a crowd demonstrating against their presence in the capital, Bangui, yesterday, killing one and injuring several others, protesters said.

Mikhail Kalashnikov obituary: Man behind world’s most famous assault rifle dies aged 94

Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

Mikhail Kalashnikov dies: Five quick-fire facts about the AK-47 inventor

Mikhail Kalashnikov dies: Five quick-fire facts about the AK-47 inventor

As the Russian engineer passes away, aged 94, here are five quick-fire facts to get you up to bullet-speed, pronto

A Syrian man helps an injured man following an airstrike in Aleppo's Maadi neighborhood. Two children were among at least 13 people killed in new air strikes on a rebel-held district

Hundreds killed as Assad pounds Aleppo from the air

Since it began in mid-December, the government’s aerial bombardment has left more than 200 people dead

A man prays in the CAR; 600 have died since fighting started

French President François Hollande isolated over conflict in Central African Republic

Mr Hollande has pleaded with other EU members to put more boots on the ground in the former African colony

Effigies of the North Korean leader are burnt in Seoul by conservative South Korean groups, an action that prompted the faxed threat by the North

North Korea faxes South Korea threat to attack ‘without notice’

Addressed to the South’s presidential office, the threat was made after effigies of Kim Jong-un were burnt in Seoul

A series of bombings hit Shia areas of Baghdad this month

Iraqi policeman dies saving pilgrims from suicide bomber as attacks rise

Although five people were killed and 10 wounded, police say the casualties would have been far higher if Ayyub Khalaf had not wrapped his arms around the terrorist to shield others from the blast

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale
Michael Adebolajo during an interview with the police

Lee Rigby murder: Killer Michael Adebolajo handed witness a note attempting to justify actions

Witness Amanda Donnelly Martin was passed a warped handwritten note by one of Fusilier Lee Rigby's murderers.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project