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

Mikhail Kalashnikov posing with the first model of his legendary AK-47

Revealed: The dying remorse of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the man who made 100m rifles

He always said he had no regrets about inventing the AK-47. But in the days before his death he may have had a change of heart

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial service for Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Israel's parliament, the Knesset on 13 January 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel

Ariel Sharon memorial: Israel holds memorial ceremony for 'fearless warrior'

Hundreds of Israeli VIPs and international dignitaries attended a state memorial ceremony for the late Ariel Sharon on Monday, remembering the controversial former prime minister as a fearless warrior and bold leader who devoted his life to protecting his country's security.

Game of Thrones series four

Game of Thrones season 4 first trailer: 'The war's not won'

The teaser for the new series is all freshly-forged swords and middle distances stares

Bang on target : Shotgun Paddy (left) gets his nose in front of Carruthers in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Shotgun Paddy shows impressive firepower

Though youth had its afternoon at Warwick yesterday as the novice chaser Shotgun Paddy belied his rookie status to see off a collection of hoary old handicapping hands in the Betfred Classic Chase, he rather took on the role of the man who shot Bambi's mother.

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Timeline: The life of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

From son of Russian immigrants to one of Israel's most influential and controversial leaders

Arifa Akbar: The most memorable history lesson on war is found in fiction

Remember Septimus Warren Smith? The returning First World War veteran who haunted the darker recesses of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway? Septimus Smith, who couldn’t stop being tormented by his raw, ravaging, suicide-inducing memories of the front, even as the sun shone on postwar London? He has remained with me in a way that no history lesson has. Sorry Mr Gove, but I’m not embarrassed to say that I learned the best lessons about the Great War through great fiction.

‘Which inventions were created by accident?’

Potato chips. In the 1800s in New York, a customer at a restaurant sent back French fries because they were too thick. The cook made thinner ones that the customer still thought were too thick. Exasperated, the chef made ones that were exceedingly thin to piss off the customer... who loved them.

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hinted at improved relations between the two Koreas in his New Year's Day message - before also warning of possible nuclear war

North Korea rejects South's proposals for reunion of families separated by Korean War

Secretive state says resumption of programme has been delayed due to planned military drills in the South

A history teacher's appraisal of Michael Gove's approach to the teaching of history

The Education Secretary's ability to brush aside the past work of so many is worrying as well as sad

The Sketch: General Gove discovers the brotherhood of man

What are so-called Topical Questions for if not to address the great controversies of the day?

George Osborne is said to have paid £100 an hour to be trained by a Harley Street vocal specialist during his days as shadow Chancellor

Andy McSmith's Diary: More than a little teed off with the Chancellor’s speech

George Osborne is said to have paid £100 an hour to be trained by a Harley Street vocal specialist during his days as shadow Chancellor, to help him sound weighty and authoritative. But did he get his money’s worth? After listening to the Chancellor’s speech on Monday, the Labour MP Jamie Reed seemed to think not. He tweeted: “Can someone please reintroduce Osborne to ‘t’ as a consonant? Cos I godda dell ya, that speech made me wanna scream.”

Education Secretary Michael Gove

Michael Gove: He's not the Education Secretary, he's a very silly boy

Michael Gove's silliness reached a new peak in his comments on the First World War

Those who've fought, teach: Yes to ex-military teachers but no to cadet units in schools

Former members of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have a lot to offer – experience of life, for a start

A clash between police and protesters after a crowd attacked polling booths in Bogra in the north

At least 21 dead as violence surrounds controversial Bangladeshi election

At least 21 people have been killed in incidents across the country

Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson in Blackadder

Baldrick bites back: Sir Tony Robinson calls Michael Gove 'irresponsible' over criticisms of Blackadder as propaganda tool for the left

Actor says comments by Education Secretary amounted to 'slagging off teachers'

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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 15 May 2015
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'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
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The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
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The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

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Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
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Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
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Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

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Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

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'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

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The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

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An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

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Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy