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The young tank commander seen running in flames along the road was left recognisable to his comrades only by the pips on his shoulder and the white and purple ribbon of the Military Cross on his chest. Robert Boscawen survived the devastating burns from the attack by a hidden battery of four 105 mm flak guns of the German 7 Para on Easter Day, 1 April 1945, that ignited the petrol in his Sherman Firefly as it rushed a bridge on the Twente Canal at Enschede on the Dutch-German border. The debt he felt the world owed to all those who, like two of his crewmen, had lost their lives, was to inform his future political career.

Angela Merkel insists that it is not the right time to reduce the pressure on euro members to cut their deficits

Angela Merkel under pressure to sign up to eurozone stimulus plan

European Union leaders will tonight pledge to give greater priority to securing economic growth as they increase the pressure on Germany to do more to solve the eurozone crisis.

Greece's leader-in-waiting goes on tour

The charismatic Greek leftist who could determine the fate of the euro begins a tour of European capitals yesterday carrying a single message: it's time to talk.

Trust in Tories slides as George Osborne blames Europe for Britain's double dip

The Conservatives have lost their lead over Labour on economic competence as doubts grow about the "austerity strategy" pursued by the Coalition and governments across Europe.

Dutch politicians close to austerity budget deal

The Dutch caretaker government and opposition lawmakers said today that they are close to a deal on a provisional 2013 austerity budget, but the outcome was not yet certain.

Participants during a competition for the 2012 best moustache of Brussels

Beautiful moustaches: Winners by a whisker

Men with the finest and most flamboyant whiskers in Belgium turned out for the election of the most beautiful moustache in Brussels during a competition organised by the Order of the Brussels Moustache yesterday.

Beaten track: Eurostar runs 18 trains a day each way between London and Paris

Eurostar off to a high-speed start with healthy sales figures

Increased demand from leisure travellers resulted in Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar enjoying a good start to 2012.

Brooke-Rose: as well as her fiction, she was a formidable critic and scholar

Christine Brooke-Rose: Writer acclaimed for her inventive and playful experimental fiction

Christine Brooke-Rose was a richly innovative novelist and a formidable critic. She moved between languages, countries and identities without securing a fixed place in a literary canon or a national culture, but this mobility, combined with her inventiveness, humour and insight, madeher particularly well-equipped to grasp the contemporary world of signs and simulations.

Judith Tebbutt was freed by Somali pirates on Wednesday after being held in captivity for six months

EU's anti-piracy mission will attack Somali land targets

The European Union has agreed to expand its mission against Somali pirates and will allow military forces to attack land targets in Somalia, in a significant escalation of operations in the Horn of Africa.

The memorial service took place at the Soeverein Arena in Lommel

A nation mourns victims of ski trip coach crash

King Albert II, above with Queen Paola, and thousands of mourners took part in a memorial service in Lommel, northern Belgium, yesterday for the 15 children and two adults from the local school who died in a bus crash in a Swiss tunnel last week.

Belgium marks bus crash deaths with minute's silence

Belgium has marked the deaths of 28 people in a school coach crash with a minute's silence observed by schoolchildren, politicians, factory workers, shoppers and motorists across the country.

Schoolboys look at floral tributes to the crash victims from Stekske School in Lommel, Belgium, yesterday

Was school ski-trip coach crash caused by driver changing DVD?

Survivors from accident that killed 22 children suggest driver 'wanted to switch to another disc'

Israel 'must end imputiny of violence by settlers'

EU governments, including Britain, have secretly been urged by their top diplomats in Jerusalem and the West Bank to press Israel to enforce laws against Jewish settlers responsible for an "alarming" rise in violence against Palestinians and their property.

Keith Allen, in his dogged attempt to understand Nick Griffin, found the BNP leader expressed his political views clearly and coherently

Keith Allen: How I hunted down Nick Griffin

Horrified by the BNP's success at the last election, he made a documentary about its leader. Channel 4 then refused to show it – until now

David Cameron finally confessed that he had ridden Raisa, the retired police horse that was lent to the former chief executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks

Diary: Why 'horsegate' was on message for the Cameron grid

Yesterday was "Syria day" on the Downing Street grid. The grid is a device pioneered in Tony Blair's time by Alastair Campbell, under which all forthcoming government announcements, speeches etc are logged on a central calendar to prevent unnecessary clashes and so that the media managers know what the main message is to be.

I did ride police horse, says David Cameron

David Cameron confirmed today that he did ride a horse which was lent by police to former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform