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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste