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

The Thomas Hitzlperger story is also a victory for the tabloids

Perhaps the biggest hero in this tale is the editor of The Sun

Former Germany international footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger has come out as gay

Thomas Hitzlsperger: Former Germany international hopes revelation about his sexuality will 'move the discussion forward'

Hitzlsperger revealed on Wednesday that he is gay and hopes that the widespread acceptance will help to progress the discussion of homosexual sportspeople forward

Economic slumps are often followed by novels that are rich in words expressing emotional unhappiness

If the slump wasn't bad enough, stand by for the literary misery that's bound to follow

Scientists discover link between downturns and an increase in frequency of words of 'emotional malaise'

Remains of cars at the partially destroyed village of Oradour-sur-Glane, south-western France, where German SS Nazi troops massacred 642 people on June 10, 1944

Former SS man charged with taking part in massacre at French village that killed 642

Oradour-sur-Glane has been deliberately left untouched as a permanent memorial to the 642 people slaughtered there on 10 June 1944

A history teacher's appraisal of Michael Gove's approach to the teaching of history

The Education Secretary's ability to brush aside the past work of so many is worrying as well as sad

Thomas Hitzlsperger during his time at West Ham

Comment: Thomas Hitzlsperger has made a giant stride in moving the debate about homosexuality in football forward

The former Germany international has already begun to influence opinions as well as helping show the overwhelming support within the game

Thomas Hitzlsperger with the Germany team

Thomas Hitzlsperger gay: The reaction in Germany after former Aston Villa player comes out

The former midfielder, who was capped 52 times by Germany, has received widespread support

Thomas Hitzlsperger with the Germany team

Thomas Hitzlsperger reveals he is gay, with the former Aston Villa and Germany international declaring: 'I have never been ashamed'

Hitzlsperger also played for West Ham and Everton during his career

A German police officer poses next to a table laden with the confiscated cocaine

Aldi workers discover cocaine worth £10m stuffed into crates of bananas in Berlin

'Pure chance' discovery of 140kg of smuggled drugs from Colombia delivered to branches of supermarket chain

Bernie Ecclestone is vowing to fight the new £244m lawsuit

F1’s Bernie Ecclestone may be sued again once bribery case ends

Bernie Ecclestone is facing the prospect of another major lawsuit which could threaten his position in Formula One’s driving seat if he loses his current High Court battle, The Independent can disclose.

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil describes hectic fixture schedule as 'out of the ordinary'

The German has enjoyed the busy Christmas period

Temperatures have plunged to -13C in the town of Hell, Michigan

The storm so bad even Hell has frozen over

The extreme weather in the US has got so cold that even Hell has frozen over.

Theo Walcott lies injured on the pitch in Arsenal's FA Cup victory over Tottenham

Theo Walcott injury: Father thought Arsenal forward was 'joking' about six-month lay-off

The England international will miss the World Cup in Brazil

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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