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

The Big Six: Luxury Forest Retreats

UN to pull its staff out of Afghanistan

Insurgent attacks see 600 workers evacuated – and they may never come back

UN relocating 600 staff after Taliban attack

The United Nations said today that it is temporarily relocating more than half its staff in Afghanistan following last week's deadly Taliban attack.

Julius Cavendish: 'They jumped from balconies to escape'

There was nothing remarkable about the three men in police uniforms sauntering down the middle of the street – until one began spraying the green gate of the Bekhtar guesthouse with rounds from his Kalashnikov.

Five UN staff killed in suicide attack on Kabul guesthouse

Authorities urged to step up protection after 'dark day' for agency in Afghanistan

12 dead in Kabul attack on UN staff

Gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a guest house used by UN staff in the heart of the Afghan capital early Wednesday, killing 12 people — including six UN staff — officials said. The US Embassy said one of the UN dead was American.

Varanasi: The last stop before nirvana

The Indian holy city is regarded as the last stop before nirvana. But these days the place seems more interested in attracting tourists than the devout. Andrew Buncombe reports

How to keep it comfy on the flashpacker trail

South-east Asia specialises in cheap yet chic lodgings. Andrew Spooner picks his favourites

Hotel owners to be named and shamed over fire safety

Fire Service leaders plan to make public the names of those who put lives at risk with blocked exits and stairways and faulty smoke alarms

Flouted fire rules risk holidaymakers' lives

Hundreds of British hoteliers have been issued with fire authority warnings, <i>IoS</i> research reveals

The Legend of Liz &amp; Joe, By John Murray

Dystopian fantasy is a comic feast

Editor-At-Large: Older mums are 'selfish', but older dads are studs ...

The death from cancer at 69 last week of the world's oldest mum produced some provocative headlines – and I suspect they were written by men. "Two-year-old twin sons orphaned" is factually correct, but will these small children really ever remember their mother?

North Korea interested in freeing US reporters

North Korea appears "seriously interested" in releasing two convicted American journalists but first wants the United States to acknowledge what Pyongyang sees as their "hostile acts," a US-based scholar who visited Pyongyang said today.

Donald Qubeka and Liziwe Ngcokoto: 'South Africa is a time bomb that is ticking'

Their story is so incredible, you wouldn't bet against a film one day being made based on their experiences. Already, someone in the Netherlands is writing a book about this remarkable South African couple.

Five-star service at this Thai budget bolthole

Thailand's small guest houses offer an affordable, authentic and stylish taste of this southeast Asian country, says Andrew Spooner
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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
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea