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Kleintje Pils say the performance will be a 'signal'

A 12-day voyage through 2,000 years of history

The Black Sea has endured wars, revolutions, and the rise and fall of empires. Suzanne Cadisch took a cruise around its ports

Naval deal brings chaos to Ukraine parliament

Eggs and smoke bombs were hurled across the chamber of the Ukrainian parliament yesterday as opposition deputies sought to stop the extension of a lease on a Russian naval base in the Crimea.

Protests as Ukraine approves Russia navy base extension

Opposition politicians hurled eggs and smoke bombs inside Ukraine's parliament today as the chamber approved an agreement allowing the Russian Navy to extend its stay in a Ukrainian port until 2042.

Medvedev furious at Olympic failure

President calls for coaches to quit after Russia limps to worst ever medals tally

Rusalka, Glyndebourne, Sussex<br>L'Amour de loin, Coliseum, London

Dvorak's tale of forbidden fruit in the forest is impressively sung and bewitchingly staged

Glyndebourne podcast: Dvorák's Rusalka

Melly Still, Director, and singers Ana Mara Martnez, and her on-stage Prince, Brandon Jovanovich, discuss the new Festival production of Dvorák's Rusalka with Edward Seckerson.

Dvorak Rusalka, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, East Sussex

It helps to have a masterpiece as your starting point – and Dvorak’s Rusalka is certainly that – but when you’ve a director as painfully honest and unpretentious as Melly Still and a conductor, in Jiri Belohlavek, whose intent is not merely to conduct the piece but to honour it as a treasured part of his heritage, then we’re talking a very special alchemy around what we hear, see, and feel.

Why I Love: Captivating Crimea

Patrick Mercer OBE, politician

Grilled black sea bream with herb sauce

Serves 4

Somali pirates seize Greek cargo ship

Pirates have seized a Greek-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, Greece's Merchant Marine Ministry said today.

Anna Pavord: 'Beautiful, grounding and totally recession-proof, gardens offer a safe haven from a cruel world'

Perhaps you've turned to the gardening pages to get away from recession fever and banker phobia. Bad luck. But gardeners are surely in a fortunate position. The value of the patches we look out on every day – the real value I mean, not some notional price per square foot dreamed up by a wonky estate agent – doesn't zoom up and down because of events out of our control. Its pleasures don't diminish because the stock market is dropping like lead. The plant for which you paid £2.50 yesterday is still worth that today (in fact it is surely worth three times that – the cheapness of plants is one of life's great mysteries).

Gas blast destroys flats in Ukraine

An explosion ripped through an apartment building in southern Ukraine, killing 19 people. A further 24 people are still unaccounted for, and officials expect the death toll to rise. Twenty-one residents were pulled out alive from the five-storey block in the Black Sea resort of Yevpatoria. The blast, probably caused by canisters of oxygen stored in the basement, flattened all five floors, leaving rubble several metres high strewn with wires, smashed furniture and personal possessions. "As I was walking by, I heard a bang, and then I saw this building crumble," one witness said. Another, who lived opposite the apartment block, said: "We heard a terrible bang. We thought our balcony crashed because of the way the windows vibrated. But when I went on to the balcony I saw smoke from the other side." President Viktor Yushchenko and the Prime Minister, Julia Tymoshenko, set aside their feuding to arrive at the scene together. Mr Yushchenko declared today a national day of mourning. Casualties caused by gas blasts in often crumbling apartment buildings are common occurrences in former Soviet republics, particularly in winter when residents use more heating. Reuters

Super ants 'on way to Britain' warns study

A new ant which was discovered less than 20 years ago could be on the way to wreak havoc in parks and gardens of Northern Europe including Britain, according to a report published today.

US warship docks in Black Sea port with Georgia aid

The first U.S. warship to bring aid to Georgia arrived in the country's main Black Sea port of Batumi on Sunday, in a gesture of support for the ex-Soviet republic in its conflict with Russia.

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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