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 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future