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

Postcard from... Dietramszell

Set in the wooded foothills the Bavarian Alps, the idyllic country town of Dietramszell is usually best known as a tourist attraction.

The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special, BBC2 - TV review

The Bake-Off turns into a bit of a bunfight, but Hollywood shows his star quality

World Cup 2014: Why Germany's beachside resort may signal a happy holiday to come

German football reflects German business. Both value stability, demonstrable competency and obedience to a set of tried and tested rules

Transfer news: Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus could be on his way Manchester United

German international could be set for January switch to Old Trafford

Satyajit Das: Each stage of the eurozone debt crisis has increased the risks Germany faces

Das Capital: The German-led strategy shows little progress and is unlikely to resolve the crisis

File photo shows the main gate at Auschwitz

Last chance: Germany poised to charge 'Auschwitz SS guards'

German state prosecutors are preparing to prosecute more than two dozen surviving former German SS guards who are alleged to have worked at the infamous Auschwitz death camp that played a central role in the Nazi Holocaust.

Amazon braced for Christmas chaos as workers strike over pay

Internet giant Amazon is facing major disruptions going into the crucial Christmas shopping period as employees in the US and Germany go on strike.

Ursula von der Leyen, Politician

Page 3 Profile: Ursula von der Leyen, Politician

Another female German politician?

Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

Germany set for grand coalition as left-of-centre Social Democrats vote in favour of joining ruling alliance

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives were on course to form a grand coalition government.

German Social Democrats back coalition deal with Angela Merkel

The majority of the centre-left party's members voted to join the Chancellor in government.

Joachim Low points the way for Germany during training in Barnet as they prepare to face England at Wembley on Tuesday night

World Cup 2014: Germany start to plan for Brazil with million pound headquarters but insist they are following Fifa's renting procedures

The complex will be named 'Campo Bahia' near the coastal sports resort of Porto Seguro

Review: 'The Pleasure’s All Mine: A History of Perverse Sex', By Julie Peakman (Reaktion, £25)

"The Pleasure’s All Mine" is an odd title for an academic study of perversity: it sounds as though perverse sex is greedy, self-indulgent and possibly non-consensual. I picture Boy George in his flat in Shoreditch in April 2007, with a male escort chained to the wall. But there is a bigger question raised by the title – by whose definitions are these practices perversions?

Manchester City midfielder James Milner wants City's good run to continue against Arsenal after he scored the match-winner against Bayern Munich

Manchester City v Arsenal: James Milner hopes home form hot streak will carry City to victory against Premier League leaders Arsenal

City have scored an impressive 29 goals in seven out of seven victories at home this season and a win on Saturday will see them close the gap to Arsenal to just three points

Howland: he was a staple of German airwaves for 60 years

Chris Howland: Broadcaster, singer and actor who left Britain and found lasting fame on German TV and radio

Chris Howland was an entertainer who was all but unknown in his native Britain but who became a star in Germany. He made his name both as a television and radio presenter, as well as acting in German comedy films.

Sergio Perez will join Force India for 2014 after leaving McLaren

F1: Sergio Perez joins Force India for 2014 after leaving McLaren meaning there is no room for Paul Di Resta

Perez will partner Nico Hulkenberg for next season in an all-new driver line-up

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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
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
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