Travel Water feature: a canal view

A hotel to inspire Wanders lust

Great works: Self-Portrait in his Study, 1906, By Carl Moll

Various Viennese painters are currently showing themselves off in a brilliant show entitled Facing the Modern at the National Gallery, including this portrait by Moll

Tickets for the Bush address are available for up to $100,000

George Bush’s Second Coming – Dubya on a Christian mission to convert Jews

If George W Bush thought he was done being controversial, it appears he was mistaken. Next week, the 43rd US president will deliver the keynote address at a fundraising event for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MBJI), a global organisation that trains its members to convert Jews to Christianity, in the hope of bringing about the Second Coming of Christ.

The HM Naval Base in Portsmouth dockyard

Ian Burrell on Portsmouth hometown: Scuttling of 800-year-old institution is shameful

Most locals knew someone who worked there. Ian Burrell recalls growing up close to the dockyard

Looted Nazi haul is not going to cause a revolution in the art world

A slow drip-feed of information is always tantalising, if not pulse-quickening. It can also raise us to levels of excitement which represent perhaps too extreme and over-excitable a response to the evidence in front of our eyes.

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, By Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg (Translated by Rod Bradbury) - Paperback review

These days, one expects any novel out of Sweden to be a crime novel, and so this one is – but with a difference.

Great works: The Execution of Emperor Maximilian, 1867, by Édouard Manet

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Mark ‘Chopper’ Read has died: Australia’s most notorious criminal turned bestselling author loses long battle with liver cancer

Read wanted to be remembered ‘as someone who spun a great yarn’, his manager says

The king of cool: Contemporary art has found a home at Raimund Berthold's Thames-side flat

Either the Warhols or the radiators had to go – fashion designer and contemporary-art collector Raimund Berthold never had an easier decision to make, says Holly Williams

Protesters at Balcombe, Sussex

First Balcombe resident arrested for fracking protest

The first resident of Balcombe to be arrested for protesting against fracking in the area is being held by police, protesters said.

Alpine glaciers have receded significantly over the past century

Layers of soot from coal burning melted Alpine glaciers even in cooler climate of the 19th Century

Sooty air from coal burning triggered the initial melting of the mountain glaciers in the European Alps in the second half of the 19th Century when it caused the snow to turn grey and so reflect less sunlight back into space, scientists said.

Sandycombe Lodge, the Twickenham Villa of J M W Turner RA, engraved by W B Cooke c1814, with later colouring

JMW Turner's country retreat to undergo £2m restoration

Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham is set to re-open in 2017

Huge Renoir archive to go under the hammer in New York

The auction features the only two sculptures entirely executed by the painter

The 'ugly' block for which Picasso created murals

Norway’s 'ugly' buildings - with a touch of Picasso's genius - under threat of demolition

Nearly 40 per cent of Norwegians are in favour of demolishing the complex

Great works: Onions (1881) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Kimbell Art Museum, Texas

Art heist trial of six Romanians accused of stealing Picasso and Monet paintings adjourned

A court in Bucharest has opened and adjourned the trial of six Romanians accused of stealing seven famous pieces of art from a Dutch museum.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'