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A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

The Critics: Music: Faure's 'Penelope' just needs a touch of spin

Penelope Guildhall School, London Spitalfields Festival London Dresden Festival Dresden, Germany

Germany's very own local hero

Sarah Gracie follows in the footsteps of Goethe and discovers a genius who loved to drink, and whose hunting was not confined to the forest

FOCUS: WAR IN EUROPE: If Dresden could rise again so can Kosovo

Diplomats, already planning post-war reconstruction, see a Balkan `Marshall Plan' as vital to future peace and prosperity

Classical: Review - Bridge to the future

BRIDGE QUARTET WIGMORE HALL LONDON

Grieg music found

MORE THAN 40 hitherto unknown works by Peer Gynt composer Edward Grieg have been discovered by a researcher tucked inside some old study books.

Travel: information desk: Your questions answered by our panel of experts

Wanted: a bunk and some grits

Out of Dresden's ruins, hope

IT WAS one of the finest baroque churches in the world until the night of 13 February 1945, when Allied bombers destroyed the city of Dresden and up to 100,000 of its inhabitants. After the war, the city's Frauenkirche was left as a blackened ruin to remind the world of that terrible night.

Clasical: A mere three score and ten

As Kurt Masur takes the reins at the LPO, he joins the swelling ranks of London's seventysomething maestros. And they're all young at heart.

Tennis: Rusedski routs weary Sampras

GREG RUSEDSKI recorded the finest victory of his career yesterday when he beat the world No 1, Pete Sampras, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 in the final of the Paris Indoor Open at the Bercy Stadium.

Chess: Independent Pursuits

OF ALL the talented people who have composed chess problems, one of the very greatest was Sam Loyd. Born in Philadelphia in 1841, Loyd was from early childhood fascinated by conjuring, ventriloquism and puzzles of all kinds. Indeed, at the age of 27 he became a professional puzzle inventor, and for the eight years until 1876 he gave up chess problem composition while he established his business. But even with this hiatus, Loyd had completed well over 500 chess problems by his death in 1911.

The treacherous sands of time

The UN's Genocide Convention was passed fifty years ago. But has it ever been applied or enforced? No

The Saturday Essay: Germany's two fat men, and a lesson from history

Bismarck had great charisma and, a rarity in Germany, a gift for one-liners, something he shared with Hitler

Saxony's tax hotline stirs Stasi memories

Imre Karacs on a revival of an east German civic tradition - reporting on fellow citizens

Germany's new Nazis clash with left

FRESH from their stunning election victory last weekend, neo-Nazis in east Germany took the campaign into the streets yesterday, only to see their thunder stolen by the extreme left.

Books: Bring on the porcelain dragoons

THE ARCANUM: The Extraordinary True Story of the Invention of European Porcelain by Janet Gleeson, Bantam pounds 12.99
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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk