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

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski has admitted it's a good feeling to be back from injury after scoring on his return against West Ham

Newcastle v Arsenal: Lukas Podolski glad to be back after goalscoring return from hamstring injury

The German forward came off the bench against West Ham to score Arsenal's third goal and he has admitted that it wasn't easy during his three months on the sidelines

How is the New Year celebrated in your culture?

In Japan, New Year's Eve itself is called oh-misoka, and is a day to spend quietly at home for most people. It is not a day for fireworks at all in Japan (fireworks are reserved for summertime). You reflect on the old year, watch some year-ending entertainment programmes on TV such as Kohaku Uta Gassen (a long-running singing contest show), and perhaps go to the local temple at midnight, while hearing the 108 rings of the bell to ring away the evils of the old year. People looking for a party on New Year's Eve are often disappointed.

Boxing: Mike Tyson’s former trainer Tommy Brooks is right man for David Price

British heavyweight David Price has hired Mike Tyson’s former trainer Tommy Brooks as his new coach.

UK is on course to become Europe's largest economy within two decades

UK on course to become Europe's largest economy

GDP to leapfrog Germany around 2030

The Berlin Wall was built along the border between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany

Red Love: The Story of an East German Family, By Maxim Leo, trans. Shaun Whiteside

An illuminating look at life behind the Berlin Wall

Mikhail Kalashnikov obituary: Man behind world’s most famous assault rifle dies aged 94

Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

Mesut Ozil

Champions League: Stopping 'individualist' Mesut Ozil the priority when Bayern Munich play Arsenal, reveals Manuel Neuer

The sides meet in the last-16 of the competition next year, and the Germany keeper admits Arsenal were the team they wanted to avoid in the draw

Winter Solstice 2013: Shortest day of the year marked with 'knitted' Google Doodle

December 21 is the year's shortest day and longest night

One of the towers of the Reichstag building, that hosts the Bundestag, lower house of parliament - according to Edward Snowden, some German buildings were targets of GCHQ and the NSA

German government buildings and charities were targets of GCHQ and NSA, says Edward Snowden

Latest disclosures also highlight key role in national security played by the small Cornish holiday resort town of Bude

Boere in court in 2009: he refused to apologise for his actions

Heinrich Boere: War criminal

Dutch-German soldier who was convicted for his role in murdering civilians as part of a Waffen SS hit squad

Kevin de Bruyne has made three Premier League appearances for Chelsea

Transfer news: Kevin De Bruyne looks set for Chelsea exit - reports

Bundesliga clubs on alert

Fabian Schar of Basel celebrates after scoring

Transfer news: Manchester United and Arsenal look set to battle for Basel defender Fabian Schar

Swiss defender reportedly attracting Premier League interest

The woman made a video in which she taped 33 mice to the ground and then stepped on them one by one

German woman fined for crushing mice in fetish video

Former soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one

Transfer news: Arsenal in contact over Basel star Fabian Schar

Gunners join Dortmund in enquiring about player according to agent

US snooping revelations: Merkel 'told Obama NSA was like the Stasi'

During angry exchanges over the scope and scale of American spies' snooping exposed by the NSA whistlewblower Edward Snowden, Angela Merkel reportedly told Barack Obama his country's conduct was reminiscent of the Stasi.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate