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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Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
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Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
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Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits