News

While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

Syrian rebels have taken iconoclasm to new depths, with shrines, statues and even a tree destroyed – but to what end?

Compared writing poetry to the sex act? May he be turned to dust!

Fans at the World Darts Championship keep themselves entertained with the various fancy dress seen each night
Port of call: Byblos bears traces of its Phoenician past

Andy McSmith's Diary: 2013 - a year of discoveries - from secret gardens to extraterrestrial trysts

It is approaching that time of the year when you take a backward look and think to yourself: what do I know now that I didn’t know a year ago?

People gather to look at flowers and tributes left at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, London

Nelson Mandela’s complex bond with Britain

The South African President’s visit to Brixton in 1996 epitomised a mixed relationship with his nation's former colonial ruler

Cambridge University's Trinity College

Don’t believe the hype: Oxbridge interviews are there to be enjoyed

If you're sat at home fretting about weird old dons setting fiendish logic puzzles - don't!

The skeleton was found in a crouched or foetal position, possibly mirroring birth

Ancient skeleton found during North Yorkshire sewer improvements

Contractors have stumbled upon an ancient skeleton while digging a sewer trench in Norton-on-Derwent, near Malton. The skeleton is thought to be of either Roman or pre-historic origin.

King Philippe of Belgium has granted royal pardons for 11 people convicted of traffic offence

Anger as Belgium's King Philippe ‘frees’ 11 people convicted of traffic offences

A Palace spokeswoman said the King was simply fulfilling his constitutional obligations by signing the pardons

The Sanssouci Palace

Fresh cuts: There are lots of pluses in Prussia

Adrian Mourby takes in Christmas markets with a gulp of glühwein and a dash of history

Streetwise: Charlie Cox in 'Legacy'

Legacy: TV review - clichés spoil a reds-under-the-bed spy story with shades of le Carré

Did they play golf in Soviet Russia? If not, then the KGB's idea of burying a secret cache in a bunker on a golf course might seem less slipshod than it did in last night's BBC2 Cold War spy thriller Legacy. After all, how was the KGB to know that British courses are full of perennially useless hackers such as myself who, when bunkered, tends to displace more sand than Lawrence of Arabia charging a Turkish goods train? I'd soon have uncovered it.

Review: Meeting the Devil: A Book of Memoir from the London Review of Books

Trauma, illness and grim remembrance comprise this memoir collection – and that’s not to mention the genital warts

The construction site of the Chateau de Guedelon which started out as an eccentric project is now an established enterprise, employing 65 people and drawing in visitors from around Europe every year

In pictures: Chateau de Guedelon in the Burgundy region of France being built using the techniques, materials and rules of the 13th Century

Chateau de Guedelon near Treigny in the Burgundy region of France is the brainchild of Michel Guyot, local landowner, and business woman Maryline Martin, now site's managing director, and has been in construction since June 1997 when the first stone was laid.

Book review: Mitterrand. A Study in Ambiguity, By Philip Short

A penetrating study of a president that captures his extravagant complexities

James Cauty, The Aftermath Dislocation Principle Parts I and II

Art review: James Cauty, The Aftermath Dislocation Principle Parts I and II

When you walk into this gallery under the arches of Hoxton Station, you are confronted by a spectacle in the best sense. The Aftermath Dislocation Principle Part I (2013) is a large installation of a post-apocalyptic Britain in which all the familiar signs of civilization have been ravaged.

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Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
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Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
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peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
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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
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain