Travel

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu: Feared and outspoken politician who wielded immense power behind the scenes in South Vietnam

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, described as "the dragon lady" or "the oriental Lucrezia Borgia", wielded a huge influence in the short history of South Vietnam. As the sister-in-law of Vietnam's bachelor President Ngo Dinh Diem, she was the glamorous yet sinister unofficial first lady, thriving on publicity and becoming a politically powerful and often critically outspoken figure during the early Vietnam War. Madame Nhu enjoyed the complete support of Diem, as well as the complete loathing of President John F Kennedy and the US government.

Navy drill adds to tension with China

Vietnam's navy planned to hold live-fire drills off its central coast yesterday, amid escalating tensions with China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Pentagon Papers on Vietnam released

Forty years after the explosive leak of the Pentagon Papers, a secret government study chronicling deception and misadventure in the United States's conduct of the Vietnam War, the report was published in its entirety yesterday, including the 11 words that were not published at the time of the leak.

Rio Breaks (12A)

A surf documentary in which the word "breaks" carries a fateful double meaning. Director Justin Mitchell celebrates the teenage wave-riders of Rio, but his real focus is the precarious fortunes of 13-year-old Fabio and his 12-year-old mate Naama, from the dangerous Favela do Pavao, a high-rise slum overlooking Arpoador Beach.

Angelina Jolie: Supermum adopts a tiger mentality

Angelina Jolie's latest turn as an animated big cat is all about family and taking responsibility – two things the Hollywood actress knows plenty about, she tells Gill Pringle

Schools are so bad my children stay at home, says Jolie

Angelina Jolie believes modern schools are insufficient to cater to her children's needs, preferring to hire tutors and home-school her offspring, and urging them to "pick up a book" instead of finishing their schoolwork.

The Hangover Part II, Todd Phillips, 102 mins, 15<br/>Heartbeats, Xavier Dolan, 100 mins, 15<br/>Life, Above All, Oliver Schmitz, 105 mins, 12A

What's the last thing you need the morning after the night before? The hair of the dog...

TNK-BP lays feud aside as it lines up billion-dollar oil and gas deals

TNK-BP is back on the acquisition trail after months of internal feuding between its British and Russian oligarch owners stifled the oil and gas group.

Apocalypse Now (15)

Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

Martin Parr: Objects of their affection

Photographer Martin Parr asked key cultural figures to pose with the one item they'd save in a flood. It's a project that has a serious point, says Charlotte Cripps

The Beauty of Humanity Movement, By Camilla Gibb

A rich soup of memory and loss

Russian-led waterway deal

The ship-building company Russian Financial Corporation (RFC) has outlined ambitious plans to modernise the river transport systems in a number of countries as part of a major expansion strategy.

Travel Challenge: Northern Vietnam

Each week we invite competing travel companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a 10-day break in northern Vietnam. Prices are per person, based on two people departing from Heathrow in mid-May...

Berlusconi facing his 'parliamentary Vietnam' over bid to end prosecutions

Silvio Berlusconi's supporters in parliament were last night fighting to push through law changes widely seen as a cynical attempt to save the premier from a bribery conviction.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little