McCann lawyers gain access to Portuguese police files

Lawyers acting for the parents of Madeleine McCann today began trawling through the Portuguese police files on the investigation into how their daughter disappeared, the couple's spokesman said.

The Traveller’s Guide To: Surfing Europe

Forget Maui and Malibu, the perfect wave is nearer than you think. Chris Nelson and Demi Taylor scour the European coastline for the best breaks available

Portugal angry over sale of papers 'vital to nation's literary heritage'

A row has broken out in Portugal's literary world over plans by heirs of the nation's most famous modern poet, Fernando Pessoa, to auction his unpublished manuscripts and letters.

Professor Bartolomeu dos Santos: Creative printmaker and teacher at the Slade School of Fine Art

Bartolomeu dos Santos was always proudly Portuguese, and he came to be proudly Anglophile too; he made his career in England without losing any of his Portuguese roots. He became a well-known and widely admired artist in both countries, and indeed throughout the world. He was a wonderfully creative printmaker and a magnificent teacher of printmaking.

Families: 'We want to combine riding and relaxing'

Q I would like to take my boys, aged 13 and 11, on a part-activity, part-relaxing (Mum needs a break) riding holiday in Europe. My budget is £3,000 for two weeks, which needs to include everything. I would like for the non-riding week to be in a warm coastal area or near water. We have only had one basic horse-riding lesson. Any ideas? P Vermassen, via email

Scolari offered £3.2m to replace Eriksson

Thaksin Shinawatra has offered Luiz Felipe Scolari £3.25m a year to manage Manchester City and, in a move which has echoes of the Football Association's approach to the Brazilian ahead of the 2006 World Cup, he wants an answer before Scolari leads Portugal into the European Championship next month.

Federer fails to find rhythm before booking spot in last four

Roger Federer only found his form late in the match as he battled to beat the 146th-ranked Frederico Gil at the Estoril Open in Lisbon yesterday. The world No 1 eventually won 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the clay-court tournament.

Hemdani return lifts Rangers for Lisbon showdown

Brahim Hemdani has handed Rangers a timely boost by declaring himself fit for tomorrow's Uefa Cup quarter-final match with Sporting Lisbon. The midfielder has been a key man in Rangers' European challenge this season, starting 13 of the club's 14 games in the Champions League and Uefa Cup despite featuring in just 11 Scottish Premier League matches.

24-Hour Room Service: Fontana Park, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon's sleepy hotel scene has been undergoing a quiet revolution. Two design hotels opened last year: the 65-bedroom Jeronimos 8, in the historic suburb of Belem, was completed in August; and on Boxing Day, the larger Fontana Park Hotel in central Lisbon welcomed its first guests.

Megson saves stars for league survival fight

The Bolton manager, Gary Megson, yesterday made no apologies for heading out to Lisbon with a second-string side. With Premier League survival the No 1 priority for Megson, the Wanderers squad who travelled for the second leg of the last-16 Uefa Cup tie were shorn of a number of leading players.

Luis Boa Morte: 'I'm always able and ready and up for the fight. I'm not going to turn my back'

The Portuguese international returns to Craven Cottage today having endured a miserable first year at West Ham but, as he tells Mike Rowbottom, he has worked too hard getting where he is to give up now

Barça deny Mourinho speculation

The Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, has given his backing to the club's coach, Frank Rijkaard, and denied reports that the club plan to recruit Jose Mourinho as his replacement.

Six to View: Overseas

Life's a beach

Lisbon, Portugal

For some winter romance, head to the palm-lined streets of Portugal's capital, with its museums, galleries and haunting fado music

Deborah Orr: Forget the knives - it's the alienation of these young men we need to tackle

The recent spate of knife crimes has been deeply upsetting, But the recent spate of ideas about how to tackle it has been equally so. Amnesties, outrage against shops selling blades, even idle threats about five-year terms for possession - all these imply that they problem resides in the objects themselves rather than in the desire of certain citizens to wound others. A war on sharp edges is being declared. It is no more likely to succeed than the war on terror, the war on drugs or the war on want.

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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick