Sport Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has secured a transfer to Wolfsburg

De Bruyne joined Chelsea for £7m with reports in Germany claiming Wolfsburg have spent £16.7m on the Belgian who has made just nine appearances for the Blues

Trautmann's Journey: From Hitler Youth to FA Cup Legend by Catrine Clay

Football lovers need to be warned. They may have a problem with Catrine Clay's Trautmann's Journey, the biography of a goalkeeper whose brilliance and courage inspired a cult-like following that included Sir Bobby Charlton. Their disappointment is likely to be the same one encountered by devotees of angling when they read Moby-Dick, which really isn't about the techniques of deep-sea whaling, no more than Clay's book is about football.

Pizarro completes move to Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen have re-signed striker Claudio Pizarro from Chelsea, according to reports.

600 jobs going as Ryanair departs airport

Low-fare airline Ryanair is to close or switch nine of its 10 routes at Manchester airport from October, it was announced today.

Chelsea in talks with Werder Bremen over Pizarro

Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf has still not given up hope of bringing Claudio Pizarro to the club this summer.

Transfer talk: Etherington wants Ashton

They shoot...

Primark overseas director steps down

Primark's director of international trading has quit after less than a year, at a time when the discount fashion retailer is cranking up its European expansion programme.

Primark targets Belgium in push across Europe

The discount fashion store chain Primark plans to launch in Belgium next year, in the latest phase of its European expansion.

Ancelotti insists he's not under pressure

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti insists he does not fear for his job following his team's unexpected elimination from the Uefa Cup at the hands of Werder Bremen last night.

Primark defies the downturn but grocery decline hits ABF

Half-year sales at value fashion giant to rise 5 per cent

Primark sales buck consumer slowdown

Primark's flagship London store delivered its biggest one-day of sales in the value fashion giant's 39-year history last Saturday, as further details emerged of its plans to conquer Europe.

Passengers face long queues after airport protest

Fed-up airline passengers stood in long queues at Stansted Airport today after a protest by environmental campaigners closed the runway.

For the first time in human history, the North Pole can be circumnavigated

Melting ice opens up North-west and North-east passages simultaneously. Scientists warn Arctic icecap is entering a 'death spiral'

Pizarro completes loan move

Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro has returned to Germany to join Werder Bremen on a one-year loan deal.

Arsenal clinch Bischoff deal

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Portugal Under-21 midfielder Amaury Bischoff from Werder Bremen.

The naked (and the wrinkled) truth about Verdi's masked ball

Thirty-five naked and cash-strapped pensioners in Mickey Mouse masks will do their best to shock opera-goers in the east German city of Erfurt tonight when a re-interpretation of Verdi's A Masked Ball holds its premiere.

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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'