Voters ponder Belgian break-up as polls open

Belgians are going to the polls today in general elections that are widely seen as a vote on an orderly break-up of a country where 6.5 million Dutch and four million French-speakers are locked in a quarrelsome union.

Belgium votes in election that could split the nation

The flag tugs at the wrought-iron balcony railing as if to reach out to the other tricolore across the road.

Feuding fells another Belgian government

Dutch-speaking Liberals quit coalition in row with francophones

Belgium at war as Flemish hit out at 'invasion of French speakers'

A fierce row over suburban flight by French speakers into officially Flemish-speaking towns near Brussels is threatening to topple the Belgian Government.

Robert Fisk’s World: The true eloquence of letters from the front

Is it their humanity, or fear, that spares real soldiers from the clichés of journalism?

Business Diary: Flanders finally gets one up on Peston

One of the more entertaining business rumbles of this year has unfolded over at the BBC following the return to work after maternity leave of the corporation's economics editor, Stephanie Flanders. Her return put her head-to-head every day in a battle of the blogs with the Beeb's high-profile business editor, Robert Peston. And at first she proved far less popular. Still, their final pre-Christmas blogs show there has been a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the two. Peston's festive missive attracted 120-odd comments, while Flanders got more than 150. Game on for 2010, then.

Robert Fisk’s World: In Ypres I suddenly realised what this war has been about

I am not a poppy man and I have a distinct dislike of uniforms

Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill, By Dimitri Verhulst

Sombre tale hits the high spots

Stackridge, 100 Club, London

Back in the early 1970s Stackridge were what the more discerning listener moved on to when they had finished with Lindisfarne. Like the Geordie folk-rockers, Stackridge had an air of feisty provincialism – they emerged from the Bath/Bristol area – and were not lacking in fiddles and flutes. But they were less earnest and more whimsical.

Meet Haiku Herman, Will Europe make him, A very famous Belgian?

The demise of Tony Blair's bid to become the EU's first president has opened the way for a politician with more interest in Japanese poetry than publicity

Armistice Day: The Great War and the words we mustn't forget

Poets and soldiers recorded the horror of the Great War in writing that has affected generations. But as English evolves in the digital age, asks Robert Fisk, will their powerful words soon stop making sense?

I Love Techno, Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium

Techno has acquired a reputation somewhere between Eurotrash and Madchester in recent years in the UK, but Ghent's annual I Love Techno festival is proof that neither the music nor the fans are as naff or as addled as either of these connotations unfairly suggest.

The first poppy found in war diary

Some fragile petals recovered from the diary of a First World War soldier are thought to be the oldest Remembrance poppies in Britain.

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