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

Julian Draxler

Transfer news: Per Mertesacker hails potential Arsenal signing Julian Draxler

German international would welcome youngster at London club

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone faces bribery charges, a German court has ruled.

Bernie Ecclestone steps down from Formula 1 board pending bribery trial in Germany

Mr Ecclestone is accused of making a corrupt payment to a German banker

Hamish McRae: There has always been tension between France and the UK – but we face the same practical difficulties

Economic View: The only comparable region in terms of overall spending is Scandinavia

Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese has quit his role with the club over a row with the owner Katharina Liebherr

Future of Mauricio Pochettino thrown into doubt as Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese resigns

Cortese was understood to be at loggerheads with club owner Katharina Liebherr over the demands of running the club that have significantly increased since their Premier League return

Hamburg is planning to ban all cars from its centre over the next 20 years and put thousands of commuters on bikes

Auto ban: How Hamburg is taking cars off the road

‘Green Network’ for bicycles and public transport is designed to bypass vehicles within 20 years

Transfer news: Lewis Holtby could leave Tottenham Hotspur after less than a year

German midfielder could be on the way out at White Hart Lane

Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic

Transfer news: Arsenal may be frustrated in pursuit of Mario Mandzukic after Bayern Munich talk of extending striker's contract

The forward has been strongly linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena, with the Gunners reportedly first in line for his services

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

German economic growth weakest since the global financial crisis

Germany grew at its weakest rate since the global financial crisis last year, official figures today showed.

Darren Barker has announced his retirement from boxing after suffering a hip injury in the defeat to Felix Sturm

Boxing: Former world champion Darren Barker announces his retirement after suffering dislocated hip in defeat to Felix Sturm

Barker lost his IBF world middleweight title at the first defence after suffering the serious injury early inthe fight

'Amber bomb' in man's pocket sets him on fire

Pensioner suffered third degree burns after mistaking white phosphorus for the stone

Nadine Angerer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Nadine Angerer, winner of the women's award, in profile

The Germany captain may have drawn less attention, but was deserving of her moment in the spotlight

HungryHouse gets £53m takeaway to catch up to Just Eat

Online food delivery specialist HungryHouse has raised $88 million (£53.7m) from US investors in a bid to catch up to rival Just Eat.

Robert Boscawen: Tank commander who survived terrible injuries to become a respected and admired Conservative MP

The young tank commander seen running in flames along the road was left recognisable to his comrades only by the pips on his shoulder and the white and purple ribbon of the Military Cross on his chest. Robert Boscawen survived the devastating burns from the attack by a hidden battery of four 105 mm flak guns of the German 7 Para on Easter Day, 1 April 1945, that ignited the petrol in his Sherman Firefly as it rushed a bridge on the Twente Canal at Enschede on the Dutch-German border. The debt he felt the world owed to all those who, like two of his crewmen, had lost their lives, was to inform his future political career.

British girl Madeleine McCann, who was allegedy abducted 03 May 2007 from the resort apartment where she was on vacation with her family in the Algarve

Madeleine McCann: Phone records between burglars mean 'arrests are imminent' after British police request assistance from Portuguese authorities

Detectives are reportedly looking to detain three burglars who were active at the resort where the three-year-old went missing

Seeing red in Hamburg: Violence flares as radical left-wing squatters fight to save commune from developers

Tony Paterson reports from one of Europe’s richest cities fast becoming a magnet for a new wave of German activism

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas