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

Postcard from... Paris

One of the greatest, unsolved mysteries of European culture has been tackled in a public debate in Brussels. And left unsolved… did the French invent chips? Or was it the Belgians?

Doctors confident they can save legs of British couple crushed in Bruges drink-drive smash

Doctors are confident they can save the legs of a British couple crushed by a drink-driver in Bruges.

Ezekiel Fryers

Tottenham sign former Manchester United player Ezekiel Fryers

Left-back moves to White Hart Lane in deal understood to be in the region of £3m

The actor Gérard Depardieu is the latest Frenchman to look
for shelter in Belgium François Hollande imposed a series of tax increases by on the wealthy

French panel overturns 75 per cent tax on ultrarich

A French constitutional panel has thrown out a plan to tax the ultrawealthy at a 75 per cent rate, saying it was excessive.

Album: Scala and Kolacny Bros, December (Pias)

Christmas songs tend to be either brash and tinselly or calm and still. This collection falls as delicately and lightly as snow into the latter category.

They gave us esprit de corps. But where’s theirs?

It’s because the French are instinctively statist that the Depardieu affair has exploded

Bernard Arnault's application for Belgian citizenship has been rejected

Bernard Arnault: The Frenchman who has everything - except Belgian citizenship

Fashion boss’ controversial application rejected

Sacked banker wins bonus case

Société Générale has lost a lawsuit brought by an investment banker whom it fired from its London office, which could cost it as much as €20m (£16m).

Michu battles with Sandro for the ball

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup frustrated with referee over Michu incident during defeat to Tottenham

Spanish striker was knocked down in collision

Derek Pain: Luck has a way of affecting your fortune

No Pain, No Gain

Fellaini has been on fire this season

Marouane Fellaini hopeful of Champions League qualification with Everton

Belgian targets top-four finish with Toffees

Ilombe Mboyo apologised to fans

Striker quits as captain following awful penalty miss

Ilombe Mboyo hands in armband following dreadful spot-kick

Patrick Moore on: the Germans

As the Drip has already noted, the great Patrick Moore has died. His fixture in the British public's imagination was chiefly owed to his decades-long presenting career with The Sky at Night. But he also had many outspoken views on politics, of which his lack of affection for the Germans was a highlight. Here he is, quoted in the Daily Telegraph:

Eden Hazard with rest of his football mad family

Eden Hazard: My family would make a great five-a-side team

The Chelsea forward discusses his footballing background, including his mum who played while pregnant with Eden, in his first English newspaper interview

Towie sisters at Old Bailey for father's £1 million heist sentencing

The Only Way Is Essex sisters Sam and Billie Faiers were at the Old Bailey today to see their step-father sentenced for a daring £1 million bullion heist.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'