Amazing grace: A new book honours the dignity and diversity of the world's indigenous peoples

The new book of portraits also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International

50 Anglican priests 'to defect to Catholic church'

Around 50 Anglican priests are expected to defect to the Roman Catholic Church next year, Catholic leaders said today.

Archbishop of Canterbury attacks manual labour plan

Plans to make the long-term unemployed do unpaid manual labour for their benefits could push vulnerable people into a "downward spiral of despair", the Archbishop of Canterbury warned yesterday.

Boy remanded over schoolgirl's murder

A 16-year-old boy appeared in court today charged with the murder of schoolgirl Rebecca Aylward.

Two 15-year-olds held after girl found dead

Two 15-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenage girl was found dead in woodland in rural Wales.

China dissident wins Nobel peace prize

Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize today for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights" — a prize likely to enrage the Chinese government, which had warned the Nobel committee not to honour him.

Rainbow nation's guiding light retreats into the shadows

Desmond Tutu, one of the great figures in the history of modern South Africa, has retired from public life. Paul Vallely salutes him

Archbishop of Westminster urges Catholics to be more visible

Catholics are being urged to make themselves more visible by making the sign of the cross and saying "God bless you" more often.

Archbishop supports celibate gay bishops

Gay bishops do not pose a problem for the Church of England as long as they remain celibate, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Pope's 'deep sorrow' over child abuse scandal

Pope Benedict XVI today offered his strongest public apology of his state visit to victims of child abuse within the Catholic Church.

Fires of Faith, By Eamon Duffy

Mary Tudor's reign (1553-1558) is still remembered with a shudder due to the burning of 228 men and 56 women who refused to renounce their protestant faith.

Terence Blacker: Standing up for bad language

The much-loved author Alexander McCall Smith is concerned about moral pollution. He believes that swearing blights society, representing "casual aggression" and, under certain circumstances, "a form of sexual intrusion".

PM offers Pope a 'very warm welcome'

Prime Minister David Cameron offered "a very warm welcome" to Pope Benedict XVI today ahead of his visit to Britain.

Anger as church fails to punish Belgian abusers

The Catholic Church in Belgium yesterday promised to open a rehabilitation centre for child abuse victims after an investigation found that hundreds of young people were raped and assaulted by its priests over the past 40 years.

Senior Catholic Edmund Adamus blames UK's 'moral wasteland' on equal rights

A leading adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster has blamed abortion and gay rights for turning Britain into a "selfish, hedonistic wasteland" which has become "the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death".

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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'