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Michael Gove is a no-nonsense sort of chap, unafraid to shake his fist at the Human Rights Act. In 2011, the Education Secretary vowed to crack down on unruly pupils, whatever Europe said about their rights, and last year he led the cabinet's huffing and puffing when it looked as if Abu Qatada couldn't be deported. So how surprising to learn he is the trustee of a charity dedicated to promoting, er, human rights! The Charity Commission lists Gove as one of only two trustees of something called the European Freedom Fund. The other is the neocon writer and activist Douglas Murray. Their objective is "the promotion of respect for human rights as set out in the European Convention of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms adopted by the members of the council of Europe on 4th November 1950 and the convention's five protocols". This could put Gove in a tricky position when the Tories come to replacing the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights. Still, the EFF hasn't been too busy: no money has gone in or out since it was founded in 2007. Molto strano!

In pictures: Hindu festival of colours

Hindus in India celebrate Lath mar Holi, the festival of colour heralding Spring, by covering themselves in bright pigments.

Top 5 European Festivals

Whether you want to ski down into the action, or roll over from the beach into the crowd – it’d be tough to find anything like this in the UK. From Spain to Austria, we take a look at the best festivals across Europe.

Festive things to do across the UK

If you're still not feeling festive, here are some ideas to fill you with Christmas Spirit.

Festive fears over lack of temp staff

Nearly three-quarters of recruitment agencies are expecting a shortage of temporary agency workers over the Christmas period, with logistics and care likely to be the sectors that suffer the most.

Robert Fisk: Injustice in three dimensions

I am now the proud owner of a wooden "Perfecscope". Do not, readers, Google.

Brian Viner: Oh, for the days of parlourmaids

The enduring British fascination with life above and below stairs gets another stoking from Sunday, with ITV's transmission of Downton Abbey, a seven-part drama set in a grand country house just before the First World War and naturally starring, in the regrettable absence of Dame Judi, Dame Maggie Smith.

The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival: A palace of delights

Arifa Akbar reports on five stimulating days of books, talk, food – and fun in the sun

Allison Pearson reveals agonies in writing her latest book

Best-selling author tells of how she was engulfed by 'bad clinical depression.'

Germany has yet to rid itself of its guilt over the Nazis, says Schlink

Bernhard Schlink, the best-selling author of The Reader, a post-Nazi era novel adapted into a film starring Kate Winslet, yesterday spoke about the extent of "collective guilt" which survives to this day among generations of Germans because of the atrocities of the Third Reich.

British Library ponders the historical value of Twitter

The chief executive of the British Library yesterday confessed to having asked herself recently: "Should a world-class library preserve Stephen Fry's tweets?"

Steven Berkoff: Rise of an 'up and coming nobody'

Steven Berkoff may be among the most acclaimed playwrights and actors of his generation but he revealed he would much rather have been a tailor, like his father, given a choice between the two.

Richard Dawkins: 'I never meet people who disagree with me'

Woodstock's first big-name speaker charmed and ruffled feathers in equal measure last night

Daisy Goodwin: A woman of substance

Already TV’s face of poetry, awardwinning producer and ‘head girl’ of her own company, Daisy Goodwin has writtenher debut novel. She talks to Arifa Akbar

Leading article: An autumn feast

There was a Woodstock before Woodstock, and there is a Woodstock after Woodstock, and this is where the Independent Literary Festival opens this evening, with the renowned scientist and atheist, Richard Dawkins, discussing his take on Darwin's theory of evolution in the splendid surroundings of Blenheim Palace. During the past 20 years, festivals of all kinds have become jewels studding some of the most picturesque corners of the UK, tapping into a growing public appetite for a closer acquaintance with the arts, especially with books and those who write them.

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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before