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

Nicklas Helenius

Transfer talk: New Aston Villa signing Nocklas Helenius admits his sadness over Christian Benteke's transfer request

New striker believes Villa need to hold onto the best players possible even if it has an impact on his first-team chances

Postcard from... Finistère

‘I am old and sick’: Belgian King Albert II to abdicate in favour of son Prince Philippe

Belgium’s 79-year-old King Albert has announced that he would abdicate in favour of his son, Prince Philippe, in a surprise address to the nation that comes weeks after a woman claiming to be his daughter launched court proceedings to prove her paternity.

Cadel Evans’ team BMC Racing is fully supportive of his attempt to win this year’s Tour

Tour de France: Forgotten man Cadel Evans still sees himself as a contender

Cadel Evans is hoping to stay under the radar as a contender to win this year’s Tour de France.

Mignolet, 25, has been in fine form for Sunderland, attracting the attention of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson

Simon Mignolet signs for Liverpool: Factfile

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. The 25-year-old Belgium international has signed a long-term contract, having passed a medical, after the Reds agreed a fee with Sunderland on Friday which could rise to £11million-plus.

Nick Clegg brother's firm cuts losses

The deputy prime minister Nick Clegg's coalition government is clearly struggling to cut the deficit, so perhaps it should take a leaf out of his brother's book.

Simon Mignolet has moved to Anfield from Sunderland

Liverpool transfer news: Simon Mignolet ready for battle with Pepe Reina for goalkeeping duties

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. The 25-year-old Belgium international has signed a long-term contract, having passed a medical, after the Reds agreed a fee with Sunderland on Friday which could rise to £11million-plus.

The Grand Place in Brussels

Postcard from... Brussels

The artist Delphine Delphine Boël and, right, the man she claims is her father, King Albert II of Belgium

Royal family affair: Artist demands DNA to prove she’s king’s daughter

Delphine Boël in court bid to prove that the Belgian monarch Albert II is her father

Postcard from... Brussels

When neighbouring countries are both hailed for their gastronomic prowess, it’s only natural that there is a bit of healthy competition.

Detail from the Monument to the Martyrs of the Two World Wars, Charleroi

Wallonia: Where the Western Front left its mark

Harriet O’Brien pays tribute to the towns that bore the first onslaught

‘Players were playing for their livelihoods,’ Sunderland Simon Mignolet keeper recalled

Liverpool and Arsenal 'target' Simon Mignolet unlikely to sign new contract at Sunderland, reveals agent

The goalkeeper has been linked with a move away from the Stadium of Light

Criterium du Dauphine

Criterium du Dauphine: Team Sky rider Edvald Boasson Hagen wins stage three

David Veilleux retains overall lead

The pack rides during the 121 km first stage of the 65th edition of the Dauphine Criterium

Criterium du Dauphine: Chris Froome slips to seventh but remains in touch with leaders

Elia Viviani wins second stage from Chatel to Oyonnax

Maps in the 1593 Speculum Orbis Terrarum by the Belgian cartographer Gerard De Jode

Mermaids seen due east as rare maps go on sale

An atlas drawn in 1593, complete with mythical creatures, could fetch more than £500,000

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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before