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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss