Album: Josephine Foster & the Victor Herrero Band, Perlas (Fire Records)

Foster's wholly unique voice has the eerie, tremulous quality of a bowed saw. By contrast, the band attack their acoustic instruments with admirable ferocity.

Picture perfect: a mural of Picasso's work

Guernica: A brush with history

The bombing of Guernica 75 years ago inspired one of Picasso's best-known works. Now, visitors to this iconic part of Spain's Basque Country will discover a town devoted to peace

Bilbao's stadium, nicknamed La Catedral, was built in the English style

Welcome to Spain's old English outpost

Athletic Club de Bilbao are famed for their Basque heritage; only players from the region can represent the team, but the visit of Manchester United tonight will be a celebration of Anglophilia for a club founded by English quarrymen and local students who had studied in England.

Bilbao's stadium, nicknamed La Catedral, was built in the English style

Welcome to Spain's old English outpost

Will Unwin traces the links that make Athletic Club more than a Basque stronghold

England No 10 Owen Farrell sees the funny side during training yesterday

Lancaster defends Farrell choice for Paris battle

England coach ignores the critics and backs unchanged side to shock experienced French

Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente, second left, scores against Manchester United

Sloppy United stunned by Llorente

Manchester United 2 Athletic Bilbao 3

Cliff-top La Réserve, near St-Jean-de-Luz

Stay The Night: La Reserve, St-Jean-de-Luz

Swim, golf, surf – or just Basque in the sunshine. The revamped, cliff-top La Réserve is full of patriotic local colour – and don't miss the chef's l'oeuf piperade

President Sarkozy speaks at an EU summit in Brussels yesterday

Sarkozy suffers a ‘horrible week’ as Hollande increases lead in polls

It has been a black week for Nicolas Sarkozy. At a pivotal time in the presidential election campaign, he has suffered what one French newspaper described as “une semaine horribilis”.

Riot police surrounded the Bar du Palais in Bayonne, where Mr Sarkozy holed up to get away from the protesters

Sarkozy holes up in café as protesters vent their anger

Several hundred angry protesters booed President Nicolas Sarkozy, forcing him to take refuge in a café protected by riot police as he campaigned yesterday in France's south-west Basque country.

France's William Servat is perplexed as Saturday's match against Ireland is cancelled just before kick-off

Irish irate as Six Nations opt for Sunday rematch

Neither the travelling fans nor the players' clubs will like how France v Ireland has been rescheduled

Guernica was commissioned by the Republican government, after the Basque city was bombed in the civil war

Robot research aims to assess damage to Picasso masterpiece

Every night, after the last visitor to Madrid's Reina Sofia Museum has left, the prestigious art gallery's newest curator flickers into life. The expert is a robot, which has begun the most exhaustive research ever performed on Picasso's renowned masterpiece, Guernica. The mission: to establish the extent of the damage the 75-year-old painting has sustained during its turbulent life.

Stuart Lancaster will reveal his first England squad today

Skill to trump size in Lancaster's Six Nations squad

The England caretaker's new broom will usher out big names today and fast-track youngsters. By Chris Hewett

Stuart Lancaster will reveal his first England squad today

Emphasis on skill as Lancaster unveils his England

Caretaker coach to put faith in fresh group of youngsters when he reveals his squad for the Six Nations today

Seven Houses in France, By Bernardo Atxaga, trans. Margaret Jull Costa

Until now, Bernardo Atxaga's novels and stories, from Obabakoak in 1989 to The Accordionist's Son in 2003, have all dealt with the contemporary history of the Basque Country: its emigration and conflicts. The best-known Basque writer, Atxaga has often expressed frustration at being typecast. Here, in his latest novel, he breaks radically with this subject-matter, though it was written in the Basque language, Euskera, Atxaga's native tongue spoken by no more than a million people. Seven houses in France is set in the Congo in 1903-1904. Atxaga takes it for granted that Belgian imperialism was criminally responsible for this Heart of Darkness. Against this background, his main interest is to explore the feelings and behaviour of the group of white officers confined in the Yangambi garrison.

West Ham's full-back Joey O'Brien is sent off at the Madejski

Round-up: Treviso muddy waters in Heineken pool of death

Benetton Treviso made Pool Five of the Heineken Cup, the competition's obligatory pool of death, a little deadlier still – if that is possible – by beating Biarritz 30-26 in the Veneto yesterday.

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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
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study

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