Travel

Mons is embracing the future as it prepares for its role as next year’s European Capital of Culture, but it’s also steeped in intriguing history. Philip Sweeney explores its two sides

Asunder, By Chloe Aridjis

This unusual novel of art, solitude and imagination breaks the rules but creates a vision of its own

Maxi-dress £275

Lucza: Comfort never looked so chic

With luxurious fabrics, timeless designs and elegant prints, Lucza is upping the loungewear stakes. By Emma Akbareian

York: A destination for chocoholics

Home to Terry’s and Rowntree’s, York is inextricably linked to the world of chocolate, as a great new interactive attraction illustrates

Television image of Maryam Khatib after the alleged gas attack. She later died

Syria has no reason to use chemical weapons

World View: After the fiasco over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, people around the world are rightly sceptical about claims of gas attacks

One minute with: Charles Moore, biographer

Where are you now and what can you see?

Review: CS Lewis, A Life, By Alistair Mcgrath

More light on the man inside the wardrobe

Paperback review: Summer in February, By Jonathan Smith

Smith's novel has been republished 11 times since 1996, and has just been made into a film, with the former Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens.

Up in the air: Marc Chagall’s Paris Through the Window (1913) will be at Tate Liverpool for four months

Heads Up: Chagall, Modern Master

Things are looking up – the first Chagall UK show in 15 years

Second World War Dornier German bomber to be raised from watery grave in the Channel

The historic aircraft was shot down 72 years ago during the Battle of Britain

Has Joe Middleton breathed his last? The Village continues to get darker and darker

TV review: The Village continues to be tough going for its audience treading an unrelentingly gloomy path

The Village, Sun, BBC1 // Young Margaret: Life, Love & Letters, Sat, BBC2

Look for Pooh

Above All Things, By Tanis Rideout

The story of George Mallory, the dashing mountaineer and Bloomsbury-set member who disappeared attempting the summit of Mount Everest in 1924, would seem to write itself.

Former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity

Lord Ashcroft joins Bill Gates' pledge to give up half his fortune

The billionaire Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity, it emerged today.

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove

School pupils will be taught too much politics under Michael Gove's new curriculum, says Cambridge professor

Proposed changes include more chronological approach to history and a more British perspective

County Championship: look beneath the surface

As the new cricket season gets underway this week there will be the usual platitudes about how the game remains an intrinsic part of Englishness

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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
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

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Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

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Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

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The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015