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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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
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footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
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An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
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Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
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Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
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George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
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Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
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Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
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Independent Travel
Bruges
Lake Como
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South AFrica
Paris
Northern Corsica
Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?