Visionary: Barry Unsworth visits Seaham Colliery in Co Durham, not far from his birthplace
Henry Hill pictured in an FBI mugshot from 1980

'As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster'

Thus begins 'Goodfellas', the film about wiseguy Henry Hill, who has died. By Guy Adams

Syrians bury a victim of violence in Homs province on Sunday

Fears grow of new massacre as UN warns of civil war in Syria

Observers are prevented from reaching suspected scene of atrocities in al-Haffa

Navy destroys German mine off the coast of Sardinia

A Royal Navy warship has destroyed a Second World War mine discovered off the coast of Sardinia.

Prime Minister Cameron's aides say he cannot avoid speaking out

David Cameron tells Angela Merkel: act to save stricken economies now

David Cameron will warn Angela Merkel today that the eurozone's future is in grave peril unless she orders action within weeks to rescue struggling economies such as Greece and Spain.

St Luke Painting an Icon of the Virgin and Child,
by El Greco

El Greco and Modernism, Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
Urs Fischer: Madame Fisscher, Palazzo Grassi, Venice

Careful curators let us see how a rebel Byzantine painter cast a spell over Picasso et al

Raymond Lygo, then head of British Aerospace, in 1987; in business, he found, 'loyalty is rarely given without reward'

Admiral Sir Raymond Lygo: Navy pilot who was later involved in the Westland affair

Ray Lygo was a naval airman who transferred to surface ships, becoming a full admiral, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, and briefly First Sea Lord, before moving on to be a captain of industry. The latter role saw him caught up in the Westland affair during the 1980s.

German ship 'carrying Syria arms'

Germany's government said today that it is looking into a report that weapons bound for the Syrian regime were loaded onto a German-owned ship.

My Life in Travel: David Starkey, historian and television presenter

'For a good holiday, you need someone to hate'

Rebuilding Europe: Refugees returning to Berlin after the Second World War

Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War Two, By Keith Lowe

In his memoir If This is a Man, the Italian writer Primo Levi recalls that the most terrifying time for him at Auschwitz was not the years of incarceration by the Nazis, when beatings, hunger, back-breaking work and the threat of murder were omnipresent. He came closest to despair during the vacuum between the flight of the guards and the arrival of the Red Army. This period, in which the prisoners were effectively left to their own devices, was characterised by a complete breakdown of all authority, however unjust, as well as the system of supply. I was reminded of these passages when reading Keith Lowe's Savage Continent: an excellent account of the two years or so between the end of hostilities in Europe with the defeat of Hitler, and the establishment of the Cold War order.

Swiss tourist killed in Turkey bus crash

One person was killed and 21 others injured when a bus carrying Swiss tourists crashed near the Turkish resort of Antalya.

Parents can relax while their children take part

Scrum in the sun in Sardinia

Forte Village Resort has enlisted the great and the good of English rugby to teach its younger guests this summer

Beirut: Lebanon was torn apart by civil war between 1975 and 1990, but its capital has emerged as a destination city, famed for its mix of history and modern café culture

Wish you were here...? Cruise firm sets sail for world's trouble spots

Sedate ports of call such as Gibraltar and Valletta are being displaced on Europe's navigation charts by a trio of strife-torn cities: Algiers, Beirut and Belfast. Britain's biggest holiday company, TUI, has set a course for conflict zones for its Thomson Cruises brand for next year.

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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
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Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
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Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
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Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker