Under £200... Capital Christmas shopping

Tune Hotels offers a budget pre-Christmas stay in the English and Scottish capitals, with double rooms for £50 at some London properties and £25 in Edinburgh. These rates apply on a few nights between now and Christmas, with availability good on 23, 24 and 25 December.

Injury setback for Balotelli as he tries to quash talk of Milan

Manchester City may be without their £23m striker Mario Balotelli for up to 10 weeks – a month longer than first feared – after the knee operation in Italy which concluded with a bizarre flirtation with Milan, the side he supported as a boy.

Manchester City will benefit from fixture congestion says Milner

James Milner is convinced Manchester City are going to benefit from a packed autumn fixture list.

My Austria: A few of Ben Fogle’s favourite things...

With or without the sound of music in the air, the Austrian Alps provide the perfect setting for families to enjoy the outdoor life

Corruption, intrigue... and that's before the Wagner's even begun

A multimillion-euro fraud investigation and an attempted suicide have added to the drama at Salzburg's prestigious festival

Birmingham admit interest in Janko

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has admitted his interest in Salzburg's prolific goalscorer Marc Janko.

Eriksson has Backe in frame for Magpies post

Sven Goran Eriksson's former assistant Hans Backe will have talks with Notts County regarding the vacant managerial post at the League Two club. Eriksson, director of football at Meadow Lane, is leading the search for Ian McParland's successor after the Scot was sacked. Backe has won four Danish titles with FC Copenhagen and Aalborg.

A lift for skiers: Austria's ski resorts lure the British back to their patch of the Alps

Dramatic design hotels, extra flights and stand-alone spas...

Hildegard Behrens: Operatic soprano celebrated for her interpretations of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss

The German soprano Hildegard Behrens was a magnificent interpreter of the heroines of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. At the beginning of her career she sang several Mozart roles and such German classic staples as Agathe in Weber's Der Freischütz, but as her voice grew stronger and her acting talents increased she seemed irresistibly drawn to characters such as Strauss's Salome and Elektra, Wagner's Isolde, Senta and Brünnhilde, all ladies who had very powerful feelings of one sort or another. Though she did not command the opulent tones of the usual Wagnerian soprano, she had such a keenly focussed voice that she could penetrate the loudest orchestral or choral passage, while the dramatic tension of her performances was almost tangible.

24-Hour Room Service: Hotel Auersperg, Salzburg, Austria

With over six million visitors every year (over 250,000 of whom come to the acclaimed festival, which got under way last weekend and runs until the end of August), Salzburg has no shortage of hotels, but it can be hard to find a decent place to stay. If you fancy somewhere more personal than the Sheraton (but just as comfy), the Hotel Auersperg is the ideal hideaway.

New Mozart works discovered

The International Mozarteum Foundation says it has discovered two new works composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Travel Challenge: A summer mountain-walking holiday in Europe

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a particular holiday. Today: a summer walking holiday in the mountains of Europe. Prices are for two people, departing for seven nights on 4 July.

Boyd Tonkin: Songs of praise for books across borders

The Week In Books

48 Hours In: Salzburg

It will always belong to Mozart and the Von Trapps, but now this lovely Alpine city, with its cobbles, carillons and bierkellers, is alive to the sound of new music, too.
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes