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The Belgian frigate has transported its cargo of sacred soil from the cemeteries of WWI battlefields in Flanders to London for use in a new Flanders Fields Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks.

London set to welcome the Olympics with a green revolution

Everything from Tower Bridge to the London bus will be given an eco makeover in time for 2012

There's a moose, spruce, and maybe some mousse

With a woven moose and Norwegian flag, a German hairdresser has won the title for the world's best beard.

Hillsborough group condemn standing proposals

Proposals to bring back standing areas at football grounds have been blasted by the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG).

The way we were: 100 years of the British census

A century ago, the first truly modern census pried into domestic life. As questionnaire time rolls around, Clare Dwyer Hogg explores how the face of the British household has changed

Britain's rivers come back to life

Wildlife flourishing as pollution is reversed, report reveals

Kate Simon: Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Travel View

Female crew celebrates non-stop row round Britain

A weary crew of female seafarers were today celebrating on land after becoming the first women to row non-stop around the coast of Britain.

London: Another Country? Radio 4

When a listener is tired of the London season, he is tired of radio

Cable car crossing proposed for Thames

Plans for a new £25 million River Thames crossing using a cable car system were unveiled today by Transport for London (TfL).

MacLeod wins top Guild Award again

The Independent's food critic Tracey MacLeod has been voted Restaurant Reviewer of the Year at the coveted Guild of Food Writers Awards, for her work in The Independent Magazine.

Minor British Institutions: The Kitemark

We all take the British Standards Institution's Kitemark for granted, but it was a revolutionary development. The idea of appending an unmistakable brand of quality assurance to goods and services dates back to 1903, when the clever rearrangement of the letters BSM – British Standard Mark – was devised, a small landmark in the development of a modern industrial society.

Final portraits of Henry Allingham and Harry Patch to be sold for charity

Dan Llywelyn Hall’s ‘From Armistice to Afghanistan’, a display of 25 drawings and paintings of both current and former service men and women including the final portraits of the last two WW1 veterans, Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, is to open tomorrow in London.

Six hurt as Tower Bridge lift drops

London's Tower Bridge was closed to traffic today after six people were injured in a lift in the Victorian structure's north tower.

View from New Zealand: Henry at ease after season of redemption

As his jaded players go their separate ways while nursing post rugby Grand Slam-winning hangovers, All Blacks head coach Graham Henry happily heads home immune to one headache - adverse public reaction when he arrives in Auckland.

Steep learning curve leads to sound beating

Lack of flexibility in selection and poor judgement are wasting Johnson's quality time
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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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'