Simon Calder: The 9.5g of copper, zinc and nickel in your pocket

Seven francs; 2,000 lire; two German marks: for anyone who travelled to Europe before the euro devoured the French, Italian and German currencies in 2002, that was as pitiful as the pound ever got.

David Prosser: The lesson from Lisbon

Budget Outlook Much of the criticism of this Budget is that it does not spell out how spending cuts will be implemented across the various government departments. If that lack of detail undermines confidence in the Chancellor's ability to deliver borrowing reductions, our AAA rating might be imperilled.

48 Hours In: Funchal

Last month, Madeira suffered the worst flooding in living memory, but the capital of this pretty Portuguese island is ready to welcome visitors once again.

Professor Harold Livermore: Historian of Iberia who wrote the prize-winning 'A History of Portugal'

Harold Livermore's long career as a major historian of Iberia dates essentially from 1947 with the publication of A History of Portugal, a monumental study which established his reputation as the first anglophone scholar to write a detailed and closely researched account of the annals of England's (and in due course the United Kingdom's) oldest ally. It won for him Portugal's coveted Camões Prize.

Sniffer dogs search flood debris for Madeira's missing four

Emergency crews used sniffer dogs yesterday to search through huge piles of debris for at least four people still missing in Madeira yesterday after flash floods and rockslides killed 42 people.

Floods and mudslides in Madeira leave 32 dead

More than 60 people are injured and hundreds more are left homeless as rainstorms and high winds batter Portuguese holiday island

McCanns launch new attack on Madeleine hunt police

Kate and Gerry McCann today criticised the "heartbreaking" failure by police to investigate new leads in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance as they called for a full case review.

Detective fails to overturn Madeleine McCann book ban

Former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral today lost an attempt to overturn a ban on his book claiming that Madeleine McCann is dead, a spokeswoman for the child's parents said.

McCanns back in court to defend book ban

Gerry and Kate McCann will return to court in Portugal today as a former senior detective continues his attempt to overturn the couple's ban on his book.

Stay the night: The Westin Paris

The contemporary styling of a historic hotel offers a seductive mix for Valentine's guests

WIN! A weekend for two in Lisbon

We've teamed up with Hotels.com – the world's leading hotel booking website – to offer a weekend break for two in Lisbon, Portugal. Enter our prize draw and you could be the lucky winner of two nights' B&B at the four-star Fontana Park Hotel in Lisbon. You'll also win two economy flights from London to Lisbon courtesy of TAP Portugal.

Mariza, Royal Festival Hall, London

Let's pretend, once again, that we are in Lisboa, in a small taverna," Mariza suggests, looking out at a Royal Festival Hall kept intentionally sepulchral tonight. She is the biggest global star that fado, the darkest and most soulful European music, has had, singing at Olympic Games ceremonies and single-handedly reviving its fortunes. But Mariza is also a purist; open to the international rhythms absorbed on her last album, Terra, but rooted in the traditional fado played at her father's taverna where she sang from the age of five.

A glass ceiling for women in the orchestra pit

Next week, Julia Jones takes the baton at the Royal Opera House. But a woman on the podium remains a rare event. And that is absurd, says Jessica Duchen

WIN! A weekend for two in Portugal

We've teamed up with Hotels.com – the world's leading hotel booking website – to offer a weekend break for two in Cascais, Portugal.

How to bag a bargain cruise trip

Is it possible to travel in style from Italy to Brazil for under £270? It is on an 18-day cruise...
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
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South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie