Travel

Mons is embracing the future as it prepares for its role as next year’s European Capital of Culture, but it’s also steeped in intriguing history. Philip Sweeney explores its two sides

Book review: The Undertaking by Audrey Magee

One of the most brutal battles of the Second World War was the Nazi offensive against Stalingrad where atrocities were committed on both sides and the soldiers also had to contend with starvation and freezing conditions during a lengthy siege.

Book review: In the Wolf's Mouth by Adam Foulds

Adam Foulds’s last novel, The Quickening Maze, was a truly superb study in madness and early psychiatric methods, combining the intellectual and the visceral in often startling ways (few will forget his description of the “dismantling” of a deer). In this latest work, he retains that powerful blend and focuses on another kind of madness: the madness of war.

In the trenches in France in 1916

A most surprising peacenik: Historian Niall Ferguson says Britain should have stayed out of WWI

The Harvard University professor says the country paid too high a price in terms of the lives lost and the vast debts that were run up during the conflict

Aloni in 1992, the year she formed the Meretz Party

Shulamit Aloni: Politician who championed human rights and was fiercely critical of Israel's treatment of Palestine

Shulamit Aloni was a legislator who championed civil rights and was fiercely critical of her country's treatment of Palestinian. Born in Tel Aviv between the wars, she was descended from Polish Jewish rabbinical families. Her life, as a fighter for equality and human rights, and her failure to change Israel's materialistic and paternalistc attitudes, closely reflect the troubled history of the Jewish state.

Thomas Perkins, who is thought to be worth around $8bn, made the startling comparison in a letter to The Wall Street Journal

Unrepentant Tom Perkins apologises for 'Kristallnacht' remarks but defends war on the rich letter

Billionaire venture capitalist admits Kristallnacht was a "terrible word" to use but defends war on the rich remarks

Tom Perkins: Billionaire venture capitalist ridiculed after writing letter comparing the treatment of rich Americans to the Holocaust

Thomas Perkins, who is thought to be worth around $8bn, made the startling comparison in a letter to The Wall Street Journal

Book review: "Carthage" by Joyce Carol Oates

Casualties of our dirty wars

Book review: "The Crooked Maid" by Dan Vyleta

Viennese noir... with red tinges

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (left) inspects the command of Korean People's Army. The country's Defence Commission has sent an open letter to South Korea calling for an end to

North Korea sends open letter to South Korea asking to end 'hostile military acts'

The letter comes ahead of military exercises between the US and South Korea that the North sees as provocative

Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean will return to Sarajevo to repeat their gold-medal winning routine

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean 'excited and humbled' after invitation to return to Sarajevo and perform gold-winning routine

The Olympic Hall Juan Antonio Samaranch has been rebuilt having been destroyed in the Bosnian War and Torvill and Dean will return to the scene of their greatest success

Lib Dem Justice minister Simon Hughes

Cambridge history professor Sir Richard Evans: ‘Michael Gove is a donkey who pretends to be a lion’

Sir Richard also hit out at the commemorative Lord Kitchener coin

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his special address at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Japanese premier Shinzo Abe compares tension between Tokyo and Beijing to that in Europe before First World War

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe sent a shiver through the global diplomatic community today, by explicitly comparing tensions between Tokyo and Beijing to animosity between European powers in the run-up to the First World War.

Syria report: One is reminded of Nazi Germany

Everyone knows that the Assad regime – from father Hafez onwards – has employed torture and executions to preserve the doubtful purity of the Baath party

Jeremy Paxman would have 'done better' had he fought in the WW1 trenches

The Newsnight presenter's interview technique could have been even tougher, he says, had be have served in the Armed Forces

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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas