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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
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How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power