News Mother Teresa: Skopje also has plans for a huge statue of the nun, who was born in the city

Not content with four-storey statues of Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa, city planners in Skopje are now inviting bids for a version of Rome’s Spanish Steps, part of a beautification campaign that has divided residents.

Boxing: Calzaghe's left hand causing concern

JOE CALZAGHE says he will never again take risks with his career as he prepares to make his American debut in Atlantic City on 7 August. Because of a painful left hand, the Welshman admits he did not have any sparring in the build-up to his World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title defence against Rick Thornberry at the Cardiff International Arena on Saturday.

First Taj Mahal photographs expected to fetch pounds 500,000

THE FIRST photographs ever taken of the Taj Mahal are among the treasures in a unique archive expected to fetch up to pounds 500,000 at auction this month.

Finding a Taj Mahal on Merseyside

It is not impossible to compare a 1959 Ford Zodiac with a Donatello sculpture

Liverpool waterfront is ranked with the Taj Mahal

LIVERPOOL'S WATERFRONT, the New Forest and parts of the Paddington to Bristol railway line are among 25 places in the UK nominated today for World Heritage Status.

Inside the tube

Pulp art

City Life: Delhi - Ding dong! Time for Christmas baksheesh

ON MY FRONT door in Nizamuddin, I have just hung up a huge red and green wreath, made from dried chilli peppers, to spice up my holiday mood and to discourage a marauding monkey who has been mooching around our neighbourhood.

India's latest plan to attract more tourists: closing the Taj Mahal

ON THE threshold of "Visit India Year", the Taj Mahal, the most popular monument in the country, and far and away the biggest magnet for foreign tourists, may be forced to close.

World heritage site nominations

World heritage site nominations

Letter: New risk of nuclear war

Sir: Peter Popham's account of Muslim-Hindu relations on the Subcontinent is dangerously misleading (Comment, 1 June).

THE DIARY OF EMMA D MAY: Bigger than the Taj Mahal

SUNDAY 12.01am: Everyone sitting in Bengali restaurant in Brick Lane. Dylan announces he's going to India. To live. "To, like, discover yourself," says Anna, unkindly. "No," says Dylan. "To, like, discover some seriously good gear actually." Point out he has never even been to Calais, let alone to Asia. How will he know he likes it? "That's why I wanted to tell you in Brick Lane, over a curry," he explains. "So you, like, get my drift." Behind his head is large mural of Taj Mahal. Offer to take his picture with the TM behind, as would be cheaper than going all way to India. "Look"' says Dylan patiently, "It's like this. I, erm, the other day, I ate a McDonalds burger, a fucking great big whopper of a burger. After ten years of vegetarianism, I ate a burger..." (He pauses dramatically, while everyone tries to get heads around idea of D eating a Whopper.) "And since then, I've been having these dreams where Linda McCartney keeps telling me that I have to atone for the burger by going to India and doing some hippy stuff like people did in the Sixties." Vikram coughs. "So you're going to India because Linda told you?" Dylan nods. "That's about the size of it. I'm going tomorrow. Who else is coming?"

Neasden's divine inspiration

In the same way that it's hard to imagine Trafalgar Square without Nelson's Column and pigeon shit, Neasden is almost inconceivable without the North Circular. The six lanes of traffic dominate both the landscape and the battered-looking psyche of its residents, a harried breed who, on their hunched shoulders, bear a greater weight of urban woe than most. Like the folk of Dounreay, or people who live beneath flight paths, the road is a shared experience, an unspoken, unwelcome backdrop to the everyday. They scuttle around like mice on the tracks of the Northern Line, grubbied but unbowed, the stoic victims of a low-level abuse.

Millennium mania puts the world in work

WITH 80 million people expected to visit the world's six biggest millennium attractions alone the approach of 2000 will trigger a huge boom during the next two years.

Travel: Welcome to Laos, and remember not to wander too far from the paths

This beautiful, tragic country has the distinction of being the most bombed place on earth. It's also difficult to get into, but it's worth the effort, says Gareth Lloyd

Lewis needs the Briggs one

Bob Mee suggests that a stiff test awaits Britain's enigma in Atlantic City; Boxing's great unfulfilled talent must see off the younger generation to claim his place in history

Travel: A guide to the world's most erogenous zones

We all know the great love destinations. But does reality measure up to myth? By Gareth Lloyd
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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
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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England