Voices

If you pay £6 to go to Prague on RyanAir, what do you expect?

Elton John returns to Promised Land

Elton John returned to Israel yesterday to give a concert that was postponed by a day when he bolted the country after an ugly brawl between bodyguards, fans and photographers, Reuter reports from Tel Aviv. John was spirited away in a helicopter immediately after his plane landed. John left Israel for London in a huff early on Wednesday only hours after he arrived. He was angry that he had to wait in line at airport immigration control and because of the melee when his limousine pulled up to a Tel Aviv hotel.

Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Sorted your pension, John?

IS JOHN BIRT, the Director-General, a member of the BBC pension fund? A simple enough question, you would imagine. But as with most inquiries surrounding the salary and tax affairs of this public servant, mine led everywhere but got nowhere.

Pasternak village still divided

WITH its Bolshevik stars and Christian crosses, the graveyard in the village of Peredelkino on the edge of Moscow bears witness to the fact that Russia has long been a divided society. Yesterday villagers turned out in force to vote and among them were some of Boris Yeltsin's fiercest opponents and some of his staunchest supporters.

Moscow can do as it likes, just let Rostov mind its own business

The author is executive secretary of the East-West Co-operation Committee of the European Institute for the Media in Dusseldorf, and founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development in Moscow.

Leading Article: Ministering to the poor

UNTIL the 17th century, monarchs washed the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday. The ceremony, expressing the sovereign's concern for all citizens, had its origins in the Last Supper, when Jesus bathed his disciples' feet. He told them: 'If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.'

Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Aching-Bones refuses to be laid to rest

DEAR old Sir David Akers-Jones appeared again in the papers last week, lured to Peking's side in the Chinese government's dispute with Chris Patten over democracy in Hong Kong. He has always known what's best for the people of the colony.

RAP / A little of what you fancy does you good: Michael Odell walks into Ice Cube at his hotel

'MAGGIE Thatcher and Ice Cube in the same hotel. I love that]' So says Ice Cube's manager, Patricia Charbonnet, as the former Prime Minister's husband walks through the foyer. And then, by the elevator, on our way up to meet Ice Cube himself, she goes all sentimental. 'In the end, we all breathe the same air, you know.'

Communist car on reform road

MOSCOW - As politicians squabble over who should be in the driver's seat, ordinary Russians yesterday got a chance to buy a stake in the Zil autoworks, purveyor of armoured limousines to the Kremlin elite, writes Andrew Higgins. .

Limo in Monoglia

(Photograph omitted)

Clinton's speech hits jackpot in Middle America

IT WAS here, in rural Middle America, that they fringed the cornfields last July to watch Candidate Bill Clinton come by on his first campaign bus tour. In this small town yesterday, they lined the streets again, huddled in cars parked along the hard shoulder.

Getting down to business with Clinton

IN THIS country you soon get used to the 'invitations' that arrive daily in the post but that soon reveal themselves as junk mail- shots offering 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunities either to spend a fortune or, more occasionally, to win one.

Perez survives attempt on life

(First Edition)

Tickets don't worry the big wheels

HOW do you cope with the horrors and difficulties of parking in today's cities? The answer is that you've probably given up trying, so we've asked nine celebrities to tell us their secrets for beating the traffic warden.

Welcome to The Family

AN acquaintance of mine recently married into one of the world's royal families. Or rather, into a royal family in
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003