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

5 ways elephants changed history: A brief history of stomping victories and disastrous reversals

It was the arrival of the cannon in the 19th century that finally heralded the end of elephants being used as an instrument of war. Until that time, from as early as 1000BC, they trampled across battlefields around the globe, through wars in places as far flung as Yemen and Sri Lanka.

Morrissey's autobiography, published by Penguin Classics, is not your average celebrity memoir

Morrissey: 'gay' relationship edited from US edition of autobiography

Lines about the singer's relationship with Jake Owen Walters have been cut

A digital depiction of a plan for Soho in 1954 shows the district built over with platforms, with glass-bottomed canals following street patterns and 24-storey towers

Exhibition reveals how London could have looked if radical development projects from the past century were given green light

From knocking most of Covent Garden to building castles in the sky over Soho, London would look very different today if it wasn’t for conservationists

A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines

Guiuan was central to a remarkable part of the Cold War

Bletchley Park

Remains of two of Bletchley Park's earliest World War Two buildings are discovered

The brick footings of two huts were revealed as workmen were digging up one of the former code-breaking centre's car parks

Official figures have revealed that the Government is breaking its promise to ensure that a new council house or flat is built to replace every one sold to tenants

Ministers ‘breaking promise over new council homes’

The Government is breaking its promise to ensure that a new council house or flat is built to replace every one sold to tenants, official figures have revealed.

Ashes in my Mouth, Sand in my Shoes, By Per Petterson, Translated by Don Bartlett - Review

This is a small book that packs a punch. Arvid Jansen lives with his mother, father and sister, Gry, in early-1960s Sweden in the shadow of the Cold War – his Uncle Rolf hates communists. The family is poor, Dad is a factory worker and they live in a leaky tower block. Arvid is a frail, hyper-sensitive child who stays in bed for four days when told that nuclear war may end the world. His imaginative neuroses determine his actions – he smashes the clock to release the caged tiger because he can’t bear his mother ageing and, for him, six-and-a-half is “enough”.

The Afghan president Hamid Karzai said the airstrike was carried out by a drone

Top US commander apologises for Afghan drone strike that killed child

The top US commander in Afghanistan apologised to President Hamid Karzai for a drone strike that killed a child and NATO promised an investigation as rising tensions threatened efforts to persuade the Afghan leader to sign a long-delayed security agreement.

North Korea parades detained US pensioner Merrill Newman as war criminal

North Korea showcased a US veteran on Saturday who they accuse of killing civilians during the Korean War 60 years ago in a video of the 85-year-old making a full 'confession' and apology as if the battles are still continuing today.

Books of the year 2013: War

Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".

Edwina Currie unveils the new version of the British Lion Code of Practice at Portcullis House in London

A safe pair of hands? Edwina Currie launches egg safety code

Edwina Currie, the former Health minister who once nearly bankrupted Britain’s egg producers, has been chosen to promote the new version of the red British Lion, which tells you that an egg is safe to eat.

Dirty Wars: Film review - criminality at the heart of the American system

(15) Richard Rowley, 86 mins

Michael Clarke and the Ashes: The shocking thing about sledging is not the damage it causes but how witless it is

England and Australia might just as well indulge in a spot of ice hockey-style brawling

Protestors battle riots police with tear gas outside the Cabinet of Ministers building in Kiev amidst the biggest protest in the Ukraine since its Orange Revolution in 2004

Ukraine protests: Tens of thousands protest against government's scrapped EU deal

A hundred thousand protestors take to the streets after President Victor Yanukovich pulls out of a historic deal with the EU amid rumours of Russian pressure. The east-west divide is rearing its head again, Max Tucker reports from Kiev

Paperback review: Her Privates We, by Frederic Manning

Frederic Manning, an Australian writer who settled in Britain in 1903, was little known before this fictionalised account of his experiences in the trenches was published in 1930, attracting praise from Hemingway and E M Forster. But while the wartime poetry of Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke has become lodged in the collective consciousness, Manning’s extraordinary novel, reissued here by Serpent’s Tail, remains somewhat obscure.

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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
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links