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.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
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Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
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Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?