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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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
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Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
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Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
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Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
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Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
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Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

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Rainbow shades

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