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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones