Travel

Mons is embracing the future as it prepares for its role as next year’s European Capital of Culture, but it’s also steeped in intriguing history. Philip Sweeney explores its two sides

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of British domestic intelligence agency MI5, said she did not support publication of the US National Security Agency

US will make deal with Edward Snowden, claims former MI5 head Dame Eliza Manningham Buller

Dame Eliza Manningham Buller believes the leaks have caused damage

Veteran told he had three months to live after World War II celebrates his 100th birthday

Every 100th birthday is a cause for celebration, but even more so when you are a war veteran who has cheated death.

The poster for Kung Fury on David Sandberg's Kickstarter page

Wacky trailer for new action comedy Kung Fury released on Kickstarter

There are vikings, mutants, dinosaurs and nazis in this 80s-inspired project

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo

South Korea and China angered by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's visit to controversial shrine to war dead

Neighbouring countries unhappy over public 'celebration' of Japan's attacks

Who said it: Joseph Stalin or Oliver Cromwell?

Vladimir Putin has compared Joseph Stalin with 17th century Roundhead leader Oliver Cromwell, saying there was no difference between the two men.

Postcard from... Dietramszell

Set in the wooded foothills the Bavarian Alps, the idyllic country town of Dietramszell is usually best known as a tourist attraction.

The reliance on an inheritance means that wealth is likely to remain in the same families

Children of '60s and '70s will be worse off than their parents when they retire

Only those who get an inheritance will enjoy better living standards

An unnamed concentration camp in Poland. Many of the suspected war criminals, in their eighties and nineties, say they cannot remember the Second World War

Hunting the last Nazi death camp guards: Suspects are frail, wheelchair bound, innocent or 'can't remember'

Despite their frailty, advanced years and family pleas to leave them alone, a dwindling group of suspected former SS concentration camp staff are facing justice for their alleged crimes

File photo shows the main gate at Auschwitz

Last chance: Germany poised to charge 'Auschwitz SS guards'

German state prosecutors are preparing to prosecute more than two dozen surviving former German SS guards who are alleged to have worked at the infamous Auschwitz death camp that played a central role in the Nazi Holocaust.

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Oakland: San Francisco's cooler cousin

This is an insulting account of Oakland's history. How about the shipyards that produced the ships that fought in the Second World War? Or the rise of the Black Panther movement that put Oakland at the centre of the political unrest of the late Sixties and Seventies?

A view of the game between Tottenham and West Ham

Two men arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after alleged anti-semitic comments on Twitter following Tottenham v West Ham match

Police have confirmed that two men aged 24 and 22 were arrested after allegedly posting tweets making reference to Hitler and gas chambers

Waters poses with a Speed Graphic press camera in 1952

Fred Waters: Second World War veteran who earned a Purple Heart and went on to take pictures in Korea and Vietnam

Fred Waters was a photographer for Associated Press who covered everything from the Korean and Vietnam wars to the construction of the Gateway Arch. Waters was born in Alabama in 1927. His family moved to Miami in the 1930s and he got a job as a clerk in the photographic lab of the Miami Herald.

Frying the flag: the chef celebrated fish and chips in 'Heston's Great British Food'

Heston's Great British Food, Channel 4 - TV review

A fish supper with a twist as Heston cooks up a classic

Flower power: Monty Don in 'Great British Garden Revival'

Great British Garden Revival, BBC2 -TV review

A revolution in the flowerbed as Monty plots to make Britain bloom again

The Houses of Parliament form part of a Unesco World Heritage Site

All rise: Parliament’s £1bn restoration may make MPs homeless

Experts say that 2020 is the final deadline for deciding whether one of the world’s oldest buildings is to be saved for future generations

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'