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

Ashes 2013-14: I see fear in eyes of England’s batsmen, claims David Warner

Australian cricketer castigates Trott’s approach at the crease

Simon Read: An Australian 'frozen' pensioner speaks out

My report last week about 92-year ex-army veteran Vic Williams prompted a lot of response from readers. To remind you, Vic made a video for David Cameron - you'll find it here bit.ly/1d1mQ3t. In it he raises the issue of the pensions injustice that leaves almost half of our British pensioners who live abroad facing a frozen state pension while the rest get annual increases as if they still remained in this country.

Afro-American singer Josephine Baker

Black music: The European connection

Queen Victoria was a fan – and an African superstar’s grandfather an early performer. John Clarke looks back at the hidden history of Europe’s links to black singers and performers

British Army soldiers in Basra, southern Iraq, 2004

Code of conduct could improve armed forces’ links with politicians after dysfunctional relationship resulted in Iraq War blunder

Systemic failure across government led to thousands of British soldiers being killed or wounded, says report

Capita’s chief executive, Paul Pindar, had been defending his company against allegations that recruitment had slumped since it was put in charge of advertising

'We need more wars': Head of controversial private outsourcing firm blames lack of conflict for spectacular collapse in Army recruitment since it took charge

MPs outraged as Capita’s chief executive says potential new recruits have too little to do

Indyplus video: Film & Television

Security experts warn that increasing interest has driven up price of medals on online auction sites

Fears rise that WW1 centenary will spark crimewave against memorabilia

Security experts warn that increasing interest has driven up price of medals on online auction sites

Don McCullin, pictured in front of one of his powerful war pictures, says he wishes he had spent more of his life taking photographs closer to home

‘Forget foreign conflicts, chronicle Britain’ says war photographer Don McCullin

Celebrated war photographer urges next generation to record UK’s ‘social wars’

Birgitte Hjort Sorensen as Katrine in 'Borgen'

Book Review: David and Goliath, By Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is infuriating. As each new book arrives, you think that surely the pop sociologist will have learned from the sneering at the previous ones – The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers – and created something more than another riff on one idea with cheaply told examples to pad it out. No, and certainly not with David and Goliath.

‘We believe in David Cameron. He is God!’ PM mobbed by crowds on visit to Sri Lanka - but can he help?

Carry on in Colombo: Tamils have high expectations from the Prime Minister

Bower 2011; she made a passionate speech at this year’s Party Conference

Hetty Bower: Political activist whose membership of the Labour Party stretched back to the days of Keir Hardie

Hetty Bower, who has died at the age of 108, had a life remarkable both for its longevity and for decades of indefatigable campaigning on a range of anti-war and left-wing issues. Despite failing eyesight and hearing, until a few months ago she was still taking part in protest marches, often delivering inspirational speeches. She was not only one of the oldest women in Britain but also one of the country’s oldest political activists.

England Under-21 striker Saido Berahino fires past Daniel O'Shaunessy of Finland Under-21s

England U21s 3 Finland U21s 0: Gareth Southgate admits frustration despite win that sends Young Lions three points clear

England held a two-goal lead at half-time but were unable to push on as much as Southgate had asked for

Sri Lankan mothers from the 'Dead and Missing Person's Parents' organisation hold photographs as they takes part in a protest in Jaffna

David Cameron accuses Ed Miliband of 'rank hypocrisy' over Sri Lanka boycott call

PM said Labour had been in power when country was approved as Commonwealth summit host - months after bloody government crackdown there

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick