Sport Farah is the current Olympic and world champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m

Mo Farah could conceivably target a golden treble at the next Olympics, according to the great Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie.

Parliament - The Sketch: Just William's catapult backfires on a bad day for the Veto Gang

APPROPRIATELY, IN the run-up to the festive season, the Prime Minister followed planeloads of British tourists and jetted off to Finland for the weekend. Travel agents have been offering cheap flights to Lapland for families to see Father Christmas, savour the local reindeer meat and enjoy a few hours of skiing.

Parliament - Europe: PM under attack for Helsinki summit `failure'

TONY BLAIR vowed to use Britain's national veto to prevent an EU-wide tax on savings yesterday as the Tories claimed his strategy had ended in "complete failure".

Europe should set the rules for an enlarged club

HELSINKI SPELLS trouble for the Government. Not merely because it has fallen out with the European Union's most powerful member over tax, or because it has been shafted by the second most powerful over beef. A much more fundamental issue is that - as at Rome in 1990 - this summit has launched the EU on intensive negotiations over its future constitution.

Leading article: Horsetrading towards unity

FOR THOSE so minded, these past two days in Helsinki will have proved there are few occasions to which the European Union is not capable of sinking. Finland was supposed to have been where the 15 member countries set out along the high road towards the Europe of the 21st century. And in a sense they did, by approving a model of defence co-operation as potentially significant to the Continent's future as the single currency is, and by opening the EU's doors to six more countries and - one day perhaps - to one more, Turkey. Unfortunately, this last EU summit of the 20th century is at least as likely to be remembered for two stops it made along the low road: the Anglo-French row over beef, and Britain's veto of a 20 per cent Europe-wide tax on interest income.

EU infuriated as Blair digs in his heels

TONY BLAIR angered Britain's European partners last night by blocking agreement on an EU-wide savings tax, as his positive approach to the Europe came under fire after France's refusal to lift its ban on British beef. European Commission officials accused Mr Blair of scuppering a compromise on the savings tax at the EU summit in Helsinki to pacify British anger at the continuing beef crisis.

Helsinki Summit: European rapid reaction force to launch next year

EUROPEAN LEADERS yesterday took the first step towards the creation of a defence arm with a landmark decision to establish a rapid reaction military force of 40-60,000 troops for crisis intervention and peace- keeping operations.

Helsinki Summit: And another thing...we don't like the idea of this man for the IMF

WITH WAR raging in Chechnya, Britain and France at loggerheads over beef and a tax dispute also racking the European Union, heads of government found another issue to row about: Europe's candidate for a top international job.

Helsinki Summit: Turkey must now be wooed to accept EU membership

EU high commissioner flies to Ankara on a personal mission as Turkey frowns upon membership offer

Leading Article: Don't let France's bad behaviour ruin the Helsinki summit

"COMPARTMENTALISATION" WAS the term invented by American political commentators to describe Bill Clinton's astonishing ability to run the US government amid the travails of the Monica Lewinsky affair. A touch of compartmentalisation is exactly what Tony Blair needs now as he tries to prevent rightful fury at France's continuing refusal to lift the ban on British beef from spoiling an unusually important European summit in Helsinki today.

Leading article: What is needed is a real European defence policy

BARONESS THATCHER'S tirade against greater European defence integration should not be entirely dismissed as the dyspeptic musings of this country's most trenchant Eurosceptic. Certainly, much of her speech in New York this week was predictable. Do not be misled by promises that the Europeans are simply trying to take some of the security burden off America's shoulders, she said. As with the single currency, the true name of the defence game is the creation of a European superstate to challenge the US and, in the process, destroy Nato. As Washington's trustiest ally, Britain, Lady Thatcher believes, should have no part of such a venture.

Art resale plan goes to summit

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to allow artists to share in the resale price of their work may go to the Helsinki summit of EU heads of government this week, after British resistance staved off a deal yesterday.

Tax disputes show nothing has changed in Euroland

THESE ARE heady days to be a British Eurosceptic. The euro is weak. (These days a currency is never merely low or high or - perish the thought - competitive or uncompetitive). The German economy, if not that of France, is still in all sorts of gratifying trouble. The beef war, however wilfully misunderstood, did the xenophobic cause no end of good. The Conservative party has gone some way towards rejuvenating itself by unequivocally identifying opposition to the single currency as the issue on which to fight the next election.

Parliament: Europe: Blair in `plot to sell out UK' at summit

TONY BLAIR was last night accused of being ready to sell out British interests "by stealth" in EU moves towards the integration of taxes in Europe.

Parliament: Foreign Affairs: Patten and Kinnock face threat to jobs

CHRIS PATTEN or Neil Kinnock could lose his seat as a European commissioner in proposals to be considered by member states at the EU summit in Helsinki, Robin Cook said yesterday. The Foreign Secretary said the Government would cut its number of posts from two to one if other member states agreed to reform the EU voting system to give Britain more power.

Equestrianism: Harry Llewellyn mourned

THE OLYMPIC gold medal winner Sir Harry Llewellyn has died aged 88, his family confirmed last night. The baronet died at his home near Abergavenny, Gwent, after a long illness.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game