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Westminster Outlook Michael Fallon is Westminster's – and the world's – first land-dwelling, four-limbed octopus, his tentacles wrapped around Whitehall, circular suckers incapable of being removed from powerful ministries of state.

America accuses EU of 'act of bad faith' over import duties

A row between America and the European Union over import taxes on certain technology products spilled over into outright hostilities yesterday when the US government lodged a formal complaint with the World Trade Organisation.

Revealed at last: leading MPs' expenses claims

Gordon Brown once claimed £15 for light bulbs, Peter Mandelson spent nearly £3,000 on a shower and Tony Blair lavished nearly £11,000 of taxpayers' money on a new kitchen, according to the most detailed account of MPs' expenditure ever published.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Can Darling survive a reshuffle?

Will Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, survive the expected ministerial reshuffle the other side of the Crewe by-election? Gordon Brown has to do something to reinvigorate his top team after his disastrous showing in the polls, even if it will look to some like no more than rearranging deck chairs.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: J-Power thwarts TCI's ambitions

J-Power thwarts TCI's ambitions; Is Britain heading for a hard landing?

Preview: The Merry Widow, Coliseum, London

This widow is a woman of substance

New statistics watchdog to 'name and shame' ministers who mislead

Ministers who misuse official statistics will in future be "named and shamed" by a new official statistics "watchdog".

MPs try to block expenses details

The Speaker of the Commons has lodged an appeal in the High Court to stop details of MPs' personal expenses and the addresses of their second homes being disclosed to the public.

The Sketch: More of the same dithering from rudderless helmsman

The regulation of rip-off nail bars was the subject of Phyllis Starkey's Ten Minute Rule Bill. Disreputable operators are using cut-price polymers which can cause the nail extension to be physically ripped off, taking the nail with it and damaging (horrifically, I'd guess) the poor recipient's nail bed.

No 10 dashes Mandelson's hopes of second term

Downing Street appeared to slap down Peter Mandelson over his revived hopes of serving a second term as Britain's EU commissioner.

Letters: Labour infighting

Blair-Brown backbiting will deny Labour power for many years

Sky mulls deal to let Freeview air Premiership matches

BSkyB, the broadcaster, is exploring ways to make its live Premiership football coverage available in homes that take the Freeview digital terrestrial service.

I Want Your Job: Film Director

'You need to have a thick skin'

Residential rents surge at fastest rate for five years

The cost of rented accommodation rose at its fastest pace for five years over the three months to the end of April, figures from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) show. A fifth of landlords raised rents over the quarter, the group's latest survey revealed yesterday, as the housing market continued to strengthen.

Afghan hunger strike over as Gardai move in

A seven-day hunger strike by Afghan asylum seekers has ended after officers removed them from the cathedral they were occupying.

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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
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?