Travel

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. tunehotels.com

OPERA The sickly sweet smell of success

Salome Royal Opera, London

OBITUARIES: Professor Eric Mottram

To your obituaries of Eric Mottram [by John Calder and Clive Bush, 19 January], may I add that he was a most distinguished alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies? writes John Gillard Watson. As a participant in the Summer Session 1953

Football: Milan lose two points: European champions punished

A UEFA disciplinary committee yesterday deducted two European Champions' League points from the holders, Milan, and ordered them to play their next two home ties in the tournament 300km (186 miles) from their ground.

Sleeping at the top: If you want to avoid the lifts and queues, simply stay higher up, says Chris Gill

THE trouble with ski resorts, even high ones surrounded by snow, is that they are usually at the bottom of their ski areas. The skiing day starts with the tedious business of riding a lift and, if you're unlucky, queuing for that privilege with hundreds of others. But there are alternatives.

Flights of fancy . . . Fly away

First Choice (061-745 7000) offers 14 September, Gatwick-Salzburg, seven nights half-board, pounds 229; also 16 September, Luton-Menorca, seven nights self-catering, pounds 259.

Obituary: Julia Osvath

Julia Osvath, soprano: born Budapest 15 February 1908; died 20 August 1994.

Obituary: Robert Jungk

Robert Jung (Robert Jungk), journalist, historian, peace campaigner: born Berlin 11 May 1913; married Ruth Suschitzky; died Salzburg 14 July 1994.

How We Met: Hildegard Bechtler and Billy Paterson

Theatre designer Hildegard Bechtler, 42, grew up in Stuttgart. Her work includes Peter Grimes and Lohengrin for the English National Opera, Coriolanus at Salzburg, and the current ENO production of Lohengrin. In 1984 she married Billy Paterson; they live in London with their two children.

Contemporary Art Market: Saatchi swoops for video pieces

CHARLES SAATCHI, the advertising tycoon, has made another dawn raid on a gallery, sweeping up the top exhibits for his famous collection of contemporary art.

Obituary: Jarmila Novotna

Jarmila Novotna, opera singer: born Prague 23 September 1907; married George Daubek (one son, one daughter); died New York City 9 February 1994.

The life and tragic death of Ulli Maier: The grief-stricken world of skiing is united in mourning for the heroine it lost: Simon O'Hagan shares the sense of loss as a nation weeps for its idol of the slopes

AS THE sun went down behind the mountain, they gathered in little groups in the square. They might have been students on an excursion, deciding what to do next. Except that there were no looks of expectation on their faces, only of grief. And the big 'Austria' emblazoned in gothic script on the back of their ski jackets denoted membership of one of their country's most exclusive clubs. These weeping young men and women were Austria's finest skiers - the ones Ulli Maier left behind.

Travel: Prices on a sliding scale: Which ski resorts are most expensive? Chris Gill finds that some of them are pretty steep

In the autumn, I poured scorn on the 'typical prices' published in some of the new ski resort guides which were, to say the least, misleading, and I invited readers to record prices on their early- season skiing trips. Fifty-two readers came up with the goods. My thanks to them for their conscientious efforts; when Where to Ski is published in the autumn, they will each receive a copy.

Travel: High and drei in Austria - France is not alone in offering three-valley skiing. Chris Gill slopes off to a quieter place

To British skiers, 'the three valleys' means the Trois Vallees area of France, with Meribel at its centre - the most extensive lift and piste network in the world.
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect