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

Schalke's midfielder Julian Draxler celebrates after scoring

Julian Draxler profile: An eye for a goal and 'his ball control is exemplary' - what Arsenal could be getting from the young German

A look at the 20-year-old Schalke midfielder as he edges towards a move to the Premier League

Toni Kroos

Transfer news: Pep Guardiola admits Manchester United target Toni Kroos could leave Bayern Munich

German midfielder could be in line for Old Trafford switch

Plastic bath ducks are pictured at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, which is the world's biggest trade fair for toys

International Toy Fair in Germany 

In the trenches in France in 1916

A most surprising peacenik: Historian Niall Ferguson says Britain should have stayed out of WWI

The Harvard University professor says the country paid too high a price in terms of the lives lost and the vast debts that were run up during the conflict

Postcard from... Berlin

In the Germany the “British Bobby” is still regarded as a model of gentlemanly policing, so Boris Johnson’s proposals to equip the London Met with German-manufactured water cannons has come as a shock.

Toni Kroos

Transfer news: Pep Guardiola hints that Bayern Munich could sell Toni Kroos to Manchester United

German international yet to reach new contract agreement with his club

The Daily Dot acquires The Kernel

Just over six months after it was resurrected by German investors, online technology magazine The Kernel could be set to disappear once again after being swallowed up by a US rival.

Workers at mail-order company La Redoute protest in Lille against plans to sack 1,200 workers

Is life easy in the land of the 35-hour week, generous holidays and long lunches? ‘Non’, say burnt-out French

3.2 million people are working so hard that they risked mental or physical breakdown, study finds

Lewis Holtby could leave Tottenham Hotspur

Ninety flatulent cows start fire at dairy farm in Germany

Methane gas build-up and a static charge created an explosion in a cow shed

Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos: Manchester United would be unwise to think Bayern Munich will let midfielder leave

David Moyes has reportedly be eyeing up the midfielder with agreement on a contract extension at Bayern taking time

Jakub Blaszczykowski of Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund ready to change tack and enter January transfer market following injury to Jakub Blaszczykowski

The decision to search for new players during the mid-season window is a change of policy for the club

Schalke's midfielder Julian Draxler celebrates after scoring

Transfer news: Schalke give Arsenal hope in pursuit of Julian Draxler

Midfielder could be on the move this January

Heurelho Gomes

Transfer news: Heurelho Gomes would welcome Tottenham exit - but move is not imminent

The goalkeeper is keen on a switch to PSV

<p><strong>Toni Kroos</strong></p>
<p>Neat yet in some ways anonymous. Assisted Bastian Schweinsteiger well in midfield but provided little spark himself. 6</p>
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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 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project