News Sir Nicolas Bratza, president of the European Court of Human Rights, has criticised David Cameron for his comments about the institution's 'interference'

Not to be confused with the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was set up in 1959 to enforce the European Convention on Human Rights and is independent of the European Union.

The Muscovite faithful queue for their chance to see the relic

Picture of the day: Get me to the church on time: Moscow's faithful queue to see the mother of all relics

Hundreds of thousands of Muscovites have spent hours in line this week, often queuing through the night, to get close to a religious relic they believe is part of a belt worn by the Virgin Mary.

Traveller’s guide: The Guianas

Guyana, Suriname and Guyane are the smallest nations in South America, yet these former colonial enclaves have much to offer the visitor

Curtis Warren

Drug dealer fights court order against £200m empire

One of Europe's most notorious drug dealers will "defend himself to the hilt" against a court order designed to prevent him running a criminal empire when he is freed from prison.

Chelsea manager Villas-Boas insists there is no role at Stamford Bridge for Guus Hiddink

Villas-Boas starts to feel the strain

Chelsea manager admits job is on line but claims Abramovich's backing

Fenlon seeks to rebuild unity

Pat Fenlon's immediate aim after being named Hibernian manager is to transform results and unify the club.

Belgium's credit rating cut as Italian bond rates soar

Belgium's credit rating was downgraded yesterday amid fears of European recession and continued failure by the Low Countries nation to agree a settled government.

Luke Blackall: No one's told London's restaurateurs about the crisis

Man About Town: The Balthazaar brasserie concept so beloved of the New York media set is coming to London

48 Hours: Lille

The end of the year finds this northern French city at its most welcoming, with a Christmas market adding some seasonal cheer

Gaitan still on the radar as Ferguson looks to fill midfield hole

Sir Alex Ferguson said yesterday he would not employ a "scattergun" approach to buying new midfield players, despite his problems being compounded by an injury which will keep Anderson out until next February.

Gervinho has failed to match last season’s goalscoring form for Lille when he netted 18 times

There's no panic over Gervinho's lack of goals, says Wenger

Arsène Wenger admits Gervinho's lack of form in front of goal is such that he is "in the opposite position" to his in-form Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie. The Arsenal manager also fears the Ivorian's progression could be stymied by his participation in the African Cup of Nations early next year.

Donald will see out season despite the upheaval in personal life

Luke Donald yesterday allayed suspicions he would put his clubs away for the rest of the year when committing himself to play at Sun City next week. The world No 1 has not played for five weeks and in this time has experienced the death of his father and birth of his second daughter.

Rogue border agency official jailed

Scores of immigrants who were fraudulently issued with visas by a rogue UK Border Agency official remain at large almost four years later, a court has heard.

The pressure is mounting at Chelsea

Andre Villas-Boas insists he has backing of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Andre Villas-Boas today insisted he retained the complete backing of Roman Abramovich and Chelsea's players, despite his nightmare start to life at Stamford Bridge.

Steve Brooker: The mudlark unearthing the Thames' history

"Woo-hoo, found one,” says Steve Brooker as he flicks a 1950s French coin, cut neatly in half, across the Thames foreshore. To the uninitiated, it is just one of the multitude of oddities washed up daily by the river. But to the “Mud God”, it is evidence of how dockers once scammed free holidays in France – and one more piece of unlikely history teased from the dark, smelly clutches of London’s waterway.

Italy made to pay record borrowing rates

Italy had to pay sharply higher borrowing rates to entice investors to part with their cash during auctions today.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee