News The refurbished residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in Limburg, Germany

As a concession to belt-tightening, the decision by a sybaritic German bishop to take a budget airline flight to Rome, is looking like too little, too late.

Postcard from... Galicia

Postcard from... Limburg

L’heure espagnole, ****; L’enfant et les sortileges *****, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, East Sussex

Ravel’s small, perfectly-formed oeuvre includes just two short operas, but the second, ‘L’enfant et les sortileges’, is a masterpiece.

British cyclist Mark Cavendish who was runner-up on the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer

Cycling: Cavendish takes charge

Mark Cavendish finished runner-up on the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer, but time bonuses meant Team Sky's world champion took the overall lead in his final race before the Tour de France.

Foreign tourist cannabis ban begins in Netherlands

A ban on foreign tourists buying marijuana came into effect in parts of the Netherlands today, with a protest planned in the southern city of Maastricht.

Heston Blumenthal is favourite to cook the £200,000 burger made from 3,000 strips of synthetic meat protein

Would you eat a burger grown in a lab?

A Dutch scientist has made 'meat' from stem cells – and wants Heston Blumenthal to cook the first batch. By Steve Connor

The stem cell burger

Would you eat a burger grown in a laboratory?

A Dutch scientist has created 'meat' from stem cells – and wants Heston Blumenthal to cook the first batch. Steve Connor reports on the ultimate in culinary experimentation

Bank's lorry spills cash into busy road

Drivers scrambled for banknotes on a busy road in the Netherlands yesterday after a package containing euro bills fell from a bank's lorry and broke open.

Massenet Cendrillon, Royal Opera House, London

The words are in French but still familiar - “Once upon a time...” – and the story which follows, Cendrillon (that’s Cinderella to you and me), is writ large across the surfaces of Barbara de Limburg’s set, opening like a pop-up book of fairytales whose sliding panels have our eyes hanging on to every word.

Why British students are choosing to go Dutch

Low fees and better job prospects are behind a tenfold leap in UK applications to Maastricht University

Romelu Lukaku not close to Chelsea move

Teenage Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku says he will be at the club for pre-season training, despite reported interest from Chelsea.

Dutch university sees tenfold rise in UK applicants

The number of British teenagers applying to one of Europe's leading universities has risen dramatically this year. Maastricht University in the Netherlands has seen a tenfold increase with more than 400 applications from UK students compared with just 35 at the same time last year.

There's only one rule for spring displays: do tulips en masse

Whoa! It all went right for once! It's not often I get to say that. My horticultural experiments quite often remain dubious, though passers-by do try to be nice about them. But my front garden this year is great: a proper spring picture.

Postgraduate Profile: Maastricht University is experiencing a British invasion

It is known as the most international university in the Netherlands, but until last year there were only 50 UK students enrolled at what is one of the top universities in the country. Now, with more than twice the number of British students than this time last year and with almost four times as many UK graduates signing up to study for a Masters degree, the University of Maastricht is hoping to be the next big benefactor of Britain's cuts to higher education.

A Day That Shook The World: Maastricht Treaty

On 11 December 1991 the Maastricht Treaty was signed - an event which had huge significance for the future of Europe as the treaty laid out plans for a single currency and increased powers for Europe's Parliament.

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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