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
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect