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

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has been frustrated with his role at left-back

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen frustrated with left-back role but accepts sacrifice claims Andre Villas-Boas

Vertonghen has played the last three games out wide in Danny Rose's absence after he picked up a toe injury

Reading and Wales defender Chris Gunter will make his 50th appearance for his country against Belgium tonight

Chris Coleman believes defender Chris Gunter can go on to become the first Wales centurion as he prepares to reach 50 caps

Gunter will become the youngest player to reach the half-century mark for Wales at just 24-years-old when he runs out against Belgium tonight

Mohamed Abdi Hassan commanded dozens of bandits in the Arabian Sea

The pirate who fell into a movie trap: Kingpin Mohamed 'Big Mouth' Abdi Hassan arrested in Belgium after being tricked into thinking he was going to appear in a documentary

The ringleader had been lured to Europe over promises to work as an expert adviser on a documentary about high-seas crime

Postcard from... Brussels

Belgium’s players celebrate their victory against Croatia

Belgium’s footballers catch nationalists offside as team goes through to World Cup 2014

The crowds packed the Grand Place in Brussels until the early hours of Saturday morning, cheering on their “Red Devils” who had beaten Croatia 2-1 to secure Belgium's place in next summer’s World Cup. Many beaming faces were painted black, yellow and red, the colours of the Belgian flag, which supporters waved euphorically throughout the Gothic square.

Chris Coleman admitted the victory over Macedonia was one of his most pleasing but insists it hasn't changed his future

Wales 1 Macedonia 0: Victory is most enjoyable for Chris Coleman but he insists it hasn't changed his future

Simon Church gave the Welsh their first win in five despite missing 11 players through injury

Adnan Januzaj has not yet decided where his international future lies

Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj not ready to decide his international future, claims Belgium manager

18-year-old can play for Belgium, Albania and Turkey, while he could also qualify for England in 2016 on residency grounds

Adnan Januzaj cost United £500,000 from Anderlecht

Indyplus questions: How exactly do you pronounce the Manchester United youngster's surname correctly?

The Manchester United winger stole the headlines on Saturday with his two goals against Sunderland, but there has been some debate on the pronunciation of his surname

Postcard from... Brussels

Calling in sick with a hangover or to enjoy unexpected good weather may soon be more difficult in Belgium, where the Government has proposed a law requiring that employees taking a sick day stay at home for a medical check-up.

The law would require employees taking a sick day to stay at home for a medical check-up

Thinking of calling in sick? The doctor will pop by to see you, under Belgian crackdown

Calling in sick with a hangover or to enjoy unexpected good weather may soon be more difficult in Belgium – the government has proposed a law which would require employees taking a sick day to stay at home for a medical check-up.

This picture taken in Brussels shows a Belgian 'euthanasia kit'. MPs will debate rolling out the practice to under-18s and dementia-sufferers this week

Belgian MPs to debate extending euthanasia laws to under-18s and Alzheimer’s patients

The country already has some of the most relaxed laws on medically-assisted suicide in the world

Youri Tielemans in Champions League action

Talent Scout: Youri Tielemans - the next Belgian star attracting interest from Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City

The 16-year-old midfielder has already made his debut in the Champions League

Christian Benteke has been called-up by Belgium for their World Cup qualifiers even thought Paul Lambert admits he isn't fit

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert slams 'five-day rule' as 'a mockery' as he attempts to avoid Christian Benteke row with Belgium

Lambert claims the rule 'comes back and bites you' if a player misses an international and then appears for his club within the five-day period

China ruffles feathers by detaining world's priciest pigeon Bolt

Authorities claim incorrect import duties have been paid on birds

Mourinho’s team had come from a goal down to dominate the second half and equalise before Torres was controversially shown a second yellow card nine minutes from the end

Chelsea's Jose Mourinho slams referee for red card and brands Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen 'a disgrace' after draw

Manager accuses Tottenham player of acting to fool officials and get Fernando Torres sent off to change the game

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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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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
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own