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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.

A city stretched to its limits: David Nicholson-Lord looks at the reality behind John Gummer's glossy vision of London

IT WAS a scene tailor-made for satire. There, puffing and gurgling, were the Lancashire steam engines of Tower Bridge, resplendent in their polished green livery, generating up to 750lb of pressure per square inch. And in front of them, less polished perhaps but generating a rather more impressive head of steam, was John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment, posing indefatigably for the cameras and talking to anybody with a microphone prepared to listen.

Gummer catches a bus to seek praise for capital: The minister for London wants residents' opinions on a 'great city', writes David Nicholson-Lord

JOHN Gummer was having no truck with whingers and malcontents yesterday. Nor did he take kindly to aspersions that life in London might be less than wonderful. Least of all did he want to hear anything about local government for the capital. That sort of talk, he declared, was divisive.

Museums: Bridging a gap in London's history: Michael Leapman visits the exhibition at Tower Bridge that marks its centenary in 1994

TOWER BRIDGE in London prides itself on being possibly the only bridge in the world to house an exhibition. It is not difficult to work out why.

Letter: Ban overtime pay to improve the police

AS A retired police officer and a contemporary of Ian McKenzie, I support his article, 'First, change the culture' (4 July).

Sports Listings: Sunday / Athletics: NutraSweet London Marathon, Blackheath to Westminster

World champions, Olympians, fun runners and wheelchair entrants will be gathered on Blackheath this Sunday for the world's largest marathon and on the stroke of 9.30am the cannon will mark the start for some 30,000 to set off for the finish on Westminster Bridge.

Pier sought for Thames cruise ships

CRUISE ships could be sailing up the Thames if the Port of London Authority is successful in attracting a developer to build docking facilities.

Property: A lease hath all too short a date: . . . and when it runs out, you're homeless. Jonathan Sale on a bill to free leaseholders

'I'M genuinely sorry about the Duke of Westminster,' Joan South says, 'but people like me are faced with being thrown out on the street.'

Base jumper who defies the City limits 'for kicks'

IT ALL happened so quickly - which is the normal state of affairs for base jumpers such as Russell Powell who actively seek a life in the fast lane.

Minicab driver faces rape charge

A minicab driver will appear before Tower Bridge magistrates in east London today to face rape and false imprisonment charges.

Sports Listings / This Weekend: Powerboats: London-Calais-London race: Tower Bridge

This weekend it is the turn of the mighty offshore powerboats to show their mettle in the London-Calais-London race. The event this year is broken as the competitors will stay overnight in Calais for the first time in 15 years and counts as the fourth and fifth rounds of the British offshore championship. Tomorrow morning the race starts upstream of Tower Bridge and refuels at Ramsgate before setting off on the final 32 miles to France. The 120-mile return leg on Sunday has no refuelling stop and, depending on conditions, could produce the fastest crossing from the Continent to London. Richard Carr, of Poole, attempts to do just that. His 40ft catamaran, powered by two 1200hp Lamborghini petrol engines, can reach 120mph, a speed which could carry Carr and his co-driver, Peter Dredge, to London in an hour.
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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