News French actor Gerard Depardieu poses with people from Estaimpuis during a ceremony held in his honor at the Chateau Bourgogne

Mayor of Estaimpuis credits French star with boosting the economy, creating jobs and bringing new visitors to the small corner of Wallonia

British charity consultant kidnapped in Somalia

A British consultant working for Save the Children in Somalia was abducted by masked gunmen last night along with his native colleague, the aid agency said today.

'Britain has changed, but not the prejudice'

One of Britain's most enduring gay couples celebrate 50th anniversary

A taste of Transylvania: Mark Hix recreates some delicious Romanian artisan specialities

A few weeks ago, Jason Lowe and I found ourselves in the middle of a field in a forest in Biertan, in Transylvania. We had been invited over to attend the Transylvania Festival, which was showcasing some of the best local artisan food producers – along with various ceramicists and copper still and cauldron makers who were selling their wares. Jason, who can never resist buying random culinary objects of desire on his travels, bought himself a lovely big old goulash cauldron and tripod (although I had a hard time persuading him to buy a full-blown copper distilling kit).

British nuns who saved wartime Jews on path to sainthood

Tucked away on a side street on the east bank of the Tiber, the Casa di Santa Brigidia guesthouse has specialised in welcoming weary travellers for much of the past century.

No roundabouts, just nine miles of road – and now one speed gun

The sleepy island of St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly is something of a motoring anomaly. With just nine miles of road, bereft of roundabouts or traffic lights, the biggest irony was once fact that aspiring drivers could take their test there.

Take the trouble out of your World Cup trip with a complete package deal

Five British tour operators have been licensed by Fifa to sell World Cup packages, including flights, accommodation, transfers, excursions and admission to England games. "Sales were very strong to begin with, especially the long-term packages of 18 nights," said Lynsey Devon of Thomson Sport (0845 121 2018; thomsonsport.com). "But people are taking their time now." A four-night package around the England-Slovenia qualifying game at Port Elizabeth costs £2,537. That rises to £3,999 if you want to see all three of England's group matches.

Deborah Ross: 'Dangerous dogs will be forced to stay inside making perfumed soaps for the hospitality industry'

If you ask me, now the election has been called, it is time to throw my hat into the ring, which is harder than it looks, particularly as I don't have a hat, or a ring. Still, I did have an old pen to hand, which I threw at the window, so now I've thrown an old pen at a window, I would ask you to vote for me based on the following pledges:

Police investigate 'homophobic' guest house Swiss B&B

Police were investigating an alleged "homophobic incident" today after a gay couple claimed they were turned away from a bed & breakfast.

Taliban strike at heart of Kabul, killing at least 16

Indians believed to be targets, but Italian secret service officer and French film producer also dead / Militants trying to prove they are still a potent force, even as they are overwhelmed in south by Nato troops

Suicide bombers strike in the heart of Kabul

Suicide bombers struck in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul today, triggering a series of explosions and gun battles that killed at least 17 people, police said.

Best for getting lost: Fez

Every great city is entirely itself and nowhere else. At the same time, they're all like ... somewhere. Somewhere that doesn't exist. A Platonic copy, perhaps; an embodiment of the idea of the city, whatever that may be. Morocco has several versions – all different – but in the end Tangier, Rabat and Marrakesh seem to me just rehearsals for the world's great masterpiece, Fez. In particular, the Bali Medina, the walled Old City, of Fez. The traditional Great City – traditional now, in our post-Enlightenment eyes – is a place of visual harmony, of vistas and prospects, squares, spires and domes. Old Fez is the exact opposite. The alleyways of the medina are so sinuous, straitened and overbuilt that there is, quite literally, no view. You never know what is around the next corner as it tilts down towards the river. You barely know where the next corner is. There is no angle that can lead the eye upwards more than 30ft. The rooflines are a mystery. The medina from the air reveals nothing about the medina on the ground. The eye is made useless.

Tips and deals of the week: 24/01/2010

Deals of the Week

Sunday in the Lakes for £9.99

Snap up one of 200 rooms in the Lake District that will be available from just £9.99 on 24, 31 January and 7 February. Go to golakes.reader.travel

Chalet holidays: A snow place like home

British skiers' love for Alpine chalets is as strong as ever, says Stephen Wood
Career Services

Day In a Page

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