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

Brad Pitt's film Fury is reported to have brought £1m in investment to Oxfordshire

Brad Pitt's film 'Fury' brings £1m of investment to Oxfordshire village

The seven-week shoot in south Oxfordshire has brought more than £1m to the local economy, according to the production company

Official figures have revealed that the Government is breaking its promise to ensure that a new council house or flat is built to replace every one sold to tenants

Ministers ‘breaking promise over new council homes’

The Government is breaking its promise to ensure that a new council house or flat is built to replace every one sold to tenants, official figures have revealed.

Books of the year 2013: War

Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".

Martin McSherry has an idea of stacking coffins in a high-rise tower in Oslo

Norway's vertical cemetery idea destined to die

A daily reminder of mortality towering over Oslo may not to be everyone’s taste, but a young architect has earned a commendation for his plans to build Norway’s first vertical cemetery.

Edwina Currie unveils the new version of the British Lion Code of Practice at Portcullis House in London

A safe pair of hands? Edwina Currie launches egg safety code

Edwina Currie, the former Health minister who once nearly bankrupted Britain’s egg producers, has been chosen to promote the new version of the red British Lion, which tells you that an egg is safe to eat.

Olivier Giroud after scoring Arsenal's second goal

Arsenal 2 Southampton 0: Olivier Giroud among the last of a dying breed, claims Arsene Wenger

The Frenchman was on target twice in the victory over Southampton

Old bronze and chalk models are displayed at the Pontificia Fonderia Marinalli factory; founded in 1339, the company is still in business

After 1,000 years, Italian bell makers ring the changes with exports taking up the slack

The process of making bronze bells hasn’t altered much in 1,000 years at the Pontifical Marinelli Foundry. What’s changing is where they chime, as Italy’s oldest family business looks abroad to avoid the economy at home.

Paperback review: Priscilla, By Nicholas Shakespeare

Ever since his aunt Priscilla died in March 1982, Nicholas Shakespeare had been curious about her past. In the summer of 2009, he had a stroke of luck: he decided to act, just as the one person who might know something about her was wondering what to do with a trunk full of her papers. The contents proved to be more rewarding than a novelist and biographer such as Shakespeare could hope for.

Iveson and comrades: he always wore a white scarf in case he was shot down over Germany. 'I
don’t want them to think we’re scruffs,' he would say

Tony Iveson: Second World War pilot who served in the Battle of Britain in a Spitfire and helped sink the 'Tirpitz' in a Lancaster

Tony Iveson flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain and later the Lancaster Bomber, in which he was part of the group which sank Hitler's flagship, the Tirpitz. Serving as a flying instructor for two years after the Battle of Britain, he then flew many missions over Germany as a member of the 617 Squadron – the "Dambusters". His love affair with the Lancaster continued for the rest of his life and he flew the last remaining Lancaster at the age of 89. He then wrote Lancaster – the Biography (2008) with Brian Milton in 2009. But nothing in his life became him more than the memorial for which he campaigned tirelessly in his final years for his comrades in Bomber Command, around 55,500 of whom gave their lives to keep Hitler from these shores.

Book Review: David and Goliath, By Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is infuriating. As each new book arrives, you think that surely the pop sociologist will have learned from the sneering at the previous ones – The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers – and created something more than another riff on one idea with cheaply told examples to pad it out. No, and certainly not with David and Goliath.

A “Stolpersteine” to commemorate a Holocaust victim

Postcard from... Berlin

November is a difficult month for Germany.

The week in radio: Home truths in a heartbreaking tale of the child victims of war

"I must go to bed now as we have an early start in the morning," wrote 12-year-old Joyce Henderson in her diary on 31 Aug 1939. "Tomorrow, I become an evacuee and it's all because of something called war."

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, pictured in 1993; John Thaw as Inspector Morse

Meet the new Morse: ITV unveils crime-fighting clergyman inspired by Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie

Poirot has solved his last case and Morse is no more. Now ITV hopes that a crime-fighting clergyman, inspired by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie, will solve a detective-shaped hole in its prime-time schedules.

People walk amongst debris next to a ship washed ashore in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan at Anibong in Tacloban

Typhoon Haiyan: British expats and tourists join aid efforts

10,000 people are estimated to have been killed by super storm

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea