News Calatrava’s bridge has been heavily criticised

After endless criticism over its aesthetic, its durability and even its accessibility for the disabled,Santiago Calatrava faces legal action as a result of alleged deficiencies in the construction

The Jewels of Paradise, By Donna Leon. Heinemann, £17.99

The opera-house setting of Donna Leon's first novel, Death at La Fenice, was no accident. She has always been a serious student of music and this new work, a departure from her crime-fiction, features a splendid mystery surrounding the inheritance of an obscure baroque composer. His papers are locked in two trunks fought over by greedy rival descendants who decide to employ a scholar to investigate the contents.

Montenegro challenges Croatia for Adriatic crown

Resort development is rife in the tiny Balkan nation. Louise Dransfield and Kate Hughes report

Album: Anna Caterina Antonacci, Donald Sulzen, L'alba Separa dalla Luce L'ombra (Wigmore Hall)

Anna Caterina Antonacci here conjures an evocative and warming account of fin de siècle Mediterranean ardour through songs by the likes of Tosti, Hahn and Respighi, including the latter's "Sopra un'aria Antica".

Scenes from an Execution, Lyttelton, National Theatre, London

“It's death to be understood,” declares Galactia, the 16th century artist-heroine of Scenes from an Execution. But the fact remains that this 1986 play is one of Howard Barker's most accessible and stringently witty works - a searching study of the fraught relationship between artist, patron, critic and political culture. 

Joyce DiDonato/David Zobel, Wigmore Hall, London

Joyce DiDonato is not just a singer, she's a cheerleader carrying the torch for opera whenever she gets the chance.

Audiobook: Beastly Things, By Donna Leon (read by Andrew Sachs)

An offering you can't refuse

Beastly Things, By Donna Leon

I went off Donna Leon several books ago – not enough plot, too much pasta, too much family stuff, above all, an excess of the tiresomely perfect Signorina Elettra, paragon of the Venetian cop-shop. But this is a return to form. Commissario Brunetti exerts himself with a lot more policing, plus the book is written with that depth of thought about crime and humanity that characterises the best of Leon's work.

My Life in Travel: David Starkey, historian and television presenter

'For a good holiday, you need someone to hate'

Mario Balotelli is finally showing signs of being more settled

High-flying Balotelli seeks oasis of calm

As Noel Gallagher quizzes the striker, City sense new maturity

John Kirwan has been told he will not be considered for England post

Mallett is outstanding man for Red Rose job, says Kirwan

Nick Mallett should be the next England coach, according to John Kirwan, who will not be considered for the post after being told by the Rugby Football Union's headhunters that he was not experienced enough.

Under the arches: Villa San Michele near Florence

Traveller's Guide: Italy in style

Discover what inspired the masters of Italian creativity on a pilgrimage with pizzazz.

Greenfield says: 'I have a day job, so it's such a luxury to take a day off and work at home'

One Minute With: Susan Greenfield, scientist & broadcaster

Where are you now and what can you see?

Paul O'Connell: 'We've all been to hostile environments with our provinces in the past'

Ireland stay unchanged for daunting Paris test

Ireland have named the 22-man squad which beat Italy 42-10 in Dublin last weekend for Sunday's Six Nations game against France in Paris. The same players were selected for the original visit to the French capital on 11 February. That game was cancelled 10 minutes before kick-off, due to a frozen pitch.

A fire in the engine room of the Costa Allegra has left it a drift at sea

The Costa curse strikes again

First the Concordia ran aground, now 30 Britons are among hundreds on ship adrift in Indian Ocean after blaze

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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas