The Column That Gives The Global Picture

Destination of the week: don't be vague, aim for The Hague

Holland's second city is about to boost its range of cultural attractions with the opening of two big new museums two weeks from today – and the opening hours make them ideal for people who find it difficult to get up in the morning. The GeM (Museum of Contemporary Art) and The Hague Museum of Photography will both be housed in a building next to the Gemeentemuseum, the long-established fine-art museum, and will open 2-10pm daily. For more information call 00 31 70 338 1111 or visit Around the same time, MC Escher gets a whole museum of his own; the Paleis Museum at Lange Voorhout 74 (00 31 70 362 4061) will change its name permanently to the Escher Museum, and will be entirely devoted to the works of the graphic artist.

To reach The Hague, you could travel from London Waterloo (five hours) or Ashford (four hours) via Brussels for £106 return on Eurostar (08705 186 186,, or fly to Amsterdam and take the half-hour train ride direct from Schiphol airport.

Bargain of the week: Buy today to save money next summer

The ferry operators are seeking to attract early bookings for Channel crossings next year, with a series of special, limited-validity sales. One of these expires today: if you want a cheap crossing on one of the Hoverspeed routes, book on 08705 240 241 or by 5.30pm tonight.

The company's Apex fares for a car and five people begin at £93 for a five-day return from Dover to Calais or Ostend, and £103 from Newhaven to Dieppe. Standard returns start at £137 for the Dover routes, £167 from Newhaven. Drivers of Smart Cars save a quarter on these rates; everyone gets a 2 per cent discount by booking online.

Warning of the week: the dangers of a missile attack on an airliner

A successful attack can occur only if there is motive, means and opportunity. At many airports, it is relatively easy to get close enough to attack an airliner using modern shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. The biggest hurdle is the means. While suitable missiles are in great supply around the world, it does not follow that it is easy to have one on hand. Like any weapon, a missile must be properly maintained. The users must have the skills to not only fire the missile, but also to ensure that the weapon is as reliable and accurate as possible. In Mombasa, the evidence points to at least one of these missiles being fired. The fact that it missed a rather large target like a 757 may or may not be a good sign, depending on whether the missile was fully functional or whether the aircraft had some kind of countermeasure in use. In any case, the threat for the US and Europe is quite high if a fully functional weapon is available and if the attackers are properly trained in the use of that weapon. Those are two very big "ifs".

Dr.Todd Curtis,