Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

Inside Parliament: Jeers as Hurd retreats on Maastricht: Twists and turns of treaty debate are 'like situation comedy' - Scots MPs scorn 'Mickey Mouse' White Paper on the Union

Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, yesterday likened the twists and turns of the Commons debate on the Maastricht treaty to 'a situation comedy which is running and running, episode by episode'. He doubted its popularity ratings were very good but tried his best to boost them with an entertaining performance of a man elegantly walking backwards.

View from City Road: Euro Disney on a roller-coaster

Presumably shareholders in Euro Disney were fully aware when they bought into the group that they were investing in a Mickey Mouse company but any lingering doubts should have been dispelled by yesterday's admission that it and its parent are finally talking about how best to raise fresh finance.

No gain without pain for those determined to keep on running: Mickey Mouse and Thomas the Tank Engine disguise the drive of those who race to raise money in the London Marathon

ONE OF the main reasons I've never taken part in the London Marathon is the thought of being outrun by a giant bat, a pantomime horse or Mickey Mouse.

Mickey makes mint

A clockwork Mickey Mouse toy, made in Germany in 1931, was sold at Christie's in London for pounds 12,100 - pounds 10,000 over estimate. It was bought by the Aberg museum of Gothenberg, Sweden.

For families left behind, the pain goes on: After a child's life is taken, the parents' grief is compounded by extra horrors, such as terrible imaginings and struggles with officialdom. Angela Neustatter reports

'On the worst days I get panic attacks when it really hits me that I will never see Paul again. Then I want to go to the cemetery, dig him up and cradle him in my arms.' The emotion is close to the surface, cracking the voice just a little, as Julie Pearson talks of her daily struggle, waking up and going to sleep thinking of Paul, and with the memories of him, chatting, driving her mad on occasions, making her laugh, giving her a goodnight kiss, always there.

Architecture: Mickey Mouse won't like it one bit: A new 'interpretation centre' brings the late 20th century to the gate of an ancient castle

ST JOHN'S Castle, Limerick, writes Jonathan Glancey, was built by the Normans, knocked about a bit by Cromwell's men, and attacked by cannons and mortar bombs during various wars against the English.

Racing: Accident kills Old favourite

Al Mutahm, a Group race winner on the flat and a 33-1 chance for the Champion Hurdle, was destroyed yesterday after severing a tendon in the Ramsbury Hurdle at Newbury.

Technology lessons to be more practical

THE GOVERNMENT'S decision to define technology in schools more tightly was welcomed yesterday by engineers as the 'death-knell for Mickey Mouse technology'. But it was criticised by home economics teachers who fear it will become purely a 'boys' subject'.

I went . . . I sneered . . . I was conquered: Euro Disney astonished Geraldine Bedell - she actually liked it

'BUT isn't Euro Disney terribly American?' asked a friend disdainfully, as he set off for the Dordogne. At my first Euro Disney breakfast last Saturday - pancakes in the Wild West Saloon - I could see his point. Hell must be like this, I thought - vast, teeming, noisy, stuffed with beguiling images which, close up, turn out to be totally fake. We were only half an hour from the restaurants, architecture, culture of Paris: why ever had we driven hours across France to park ourselves somewhere so completely ersatz?

At home with the fat rats: Hazel Shaw shares nibbles with Dalton and Patagonia, two of Britain's luckiest rodents

We are sitting on a pretty, floral-covered settee, chatting, when suddenly I see what appears to be a thin rope protruding from a rolled-up navy blue T-shirt behind Sarah Handley's head. When the 'rope' begins to move, and then to twitch, I lose the thread of our conversation. A pointed face with sparkling black eyes and whiskers reveals the largest rat I have ever seen - 18in from nose to tail.

Flying Mickey

Pilots were last night warned to beware a large Mickey Mouse balloon which broke loose from moorings at Cobham, Kent, and was last seen at 200 feet heading towards the Channel.
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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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