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

Okinawa approves move for US marine base after 17 years of negotiations

The governor of Okinawa has approved controversial plans to relocate a US Marine base to a less populous area – but said he would keep pressing to move the base off the of the Japanese island altogether.

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of British domestic intelligence agency MI5, said she did not support publication of the US National Security Agency

US will make deal with Edward Snowden, claims former MI5 head Dame Eliza Manningham Buller

Dame Eliza Manningham Buller believes the leaks have caused damage

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo

South Korea and China angered by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's visit to controversial shrine to war dead

Neighbouring countries unhappy over public 'celebration' of Japan's attacks

The Berlin Wall was built along the border between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany

Red Love: The Story of an East German Family, By Maxim Leo, trans. Shaun Whiteside

An illuminating look at life behind the Berlin Wall

Mikhail Kalashnikov obituary: Man behind world’s most famous assault rifle dies aged 94

Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

Boere in court in 2009: he refused to apologise for his actions

Heinrich Boere: War criminal

Dutch-German soldier who was convicted for his role in murdering civilians as part of a Waffen SS hit squad

Mother of Michael Adebowale said son was ‘lured by evil ones’

Juliet Adebowale said her son had only met Michael Adebolajo just seven weeks before

Jean-Marie Le Pen with FN deputy Marion Marechal-Le Pen in November of this year - the former leader of the FN has suggested Romanians are 'naturally' inclined to stealing

French far-right politician Jean Marie Le Pen fined for racist Roma remarks

Jean Marie Le Pen, the former leader of French extreme-right group the National Front, has been fined €5,000 for suggesting Romanians were “naturally” inclined to steal.

Postcard from... Dietramszell

Set in the wooded foothills the Bavarian Alps, the idyllic country town of Dietramszell is usually best known as a tourist attraction.

President Hollande - a frustratingly minimalist domestic reformer but a bold, global statesman

'Tightrope walker' and 'trapeze artist': François Hollande is a wimp at home and a warrior in Africa

The French President has been criticised for his interventions in Mali and CAR but insists it is not old-fashioned paternalism but a mission to save lives

David Cameron at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2010

David Cameron says 'Mission Accomplished,' but are Afghanistan veterans really 'proud'?

'Murders, kidnaps, opium production, bombing and the molesting of young boys. All of them are up since 2001'

The reliance on an inheritance means that wealth is likely to remain in the same families

Children of '60s and '70s will be worse off than their parents when they retire

Only those who get an inheritance will enjoy better living standards

File photo shows the main gate at Auschwitz

Last chance: Germany poised to charge 'Auschwitz SS guards'

German state prosecutors are preparing to prosecute more than two dozen surviving former German SS guards who are alleged to have worked at the infamous Auschwitz death camp that played a central role in the Nazi Holocaust.

David Oliver reportedly branded Kanye West 'as misguided as they come' in his open letter
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor