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Among Christians, Anglicans are the most consistently authoritarian and conservative, while Catholics are more likely to be left-wing

Priceless buddha that sailed with Onassis is broken in museum case

The Onassis Buddha, a priceless Fabergé statue, survived for years on a Greek tycoon's yacht until it was bought in 2008 by a Russian billionaire art collector. One would have thought a hermetically sealed glass case in a new museum would be enough to protect it, but the treasure has suffered unforeseen damage in a freak accident after its display case shattered in "mysterious circumstances", leading to detachment of one of the statue's hands – and an irate owner.

KD Lang: 'In the end, I knew it would all come back to the music. And it did'

She has been a lesbian icon, party animal, and paparazzi favourite. But now, she tells Fiona Sturges, she's happy just to be singing

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu: Feared and outspoken politician who wielded immense power behind the scenes in South Vietnam

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, described as "the dragon lady" or "the oriental Lucrezia Borgia", wielded a huge influence in the short history of South Vietnam. As the sister-in-law of Vietnam's bachelor President Ngo Dinh Diem, she was the glamorous yet sinister unofficial first lady, thriving on publicity and becoming a politically powerful and often critically outspoken figure during the early Vietnam War. Madame Nhu enjoyed the complete support of Diem, as well as the complete loathing of President John F Kennedy and the US government.

Indian state minister dies in helicopter crash

The chief minister of the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh was confirmed dead yesterday, five days after the helicopter in which he was travelling vanished off the radar.

Hangzhou: A Chinese puzzle

A village that's really a hotel, a hill that can fly, and a lake that evokes the spirit of ancient China. Welcome to Hangzhou, says <b>Ben Ross</b>

Buddhist service for Japan's tsunami dead

Buddhist priests burned incense and chanted yesterday for Japan's tsunami victims, marking the 49th day since the disaster and closing the period when the dead were believed to be wandering restlessly through destroyed home towns.

Leading article: Spirit in the sky

Shakespeare called her "an arrant thief" who had snatched her pale fire from the sun. ee cummings wondered whether she was a "a balloon, coming out of a keen city in the sky, filled with pretty people". She has shaped our language. When people ask for something unattainable, she is what we accuse them of metaphorically demanding. The mentally deranged are said to howl at her.

The Reading List: The Beat Poets

Poetry

Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg; £6.75

A landmark portrayal of a “generation destroyed by madness” and the downtrodden lives of Ginsberg and his fellow “angelheaded hipsters”, ‘Howl’ is one of the most important poems of the post-war period. The story of the obscenity trial that followed its 1956 publication forms the basis of the new film, Howl, starring James Franco.

Collected Stories, By Hanif Kureishi

Please! Enough of the mid-life crisis

Bamiyan Buddha may be restored

German scientists have said it may be possible to reconstruct the smaller of two giant 1,500-year-old Bamiyan Buddha statues blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan 10 years ago, which prompted a worldwide outcry.

The Timeline: Self-immolation

100BC: Religious sacrifice

In the Lotus Sutra, the doctrine upon which Mahayana Buddhism is founded, the bodhisattva Medicine King offers himself to Buddha by performing various acts of self-mutilation, including burning parts of his body.

Mission To China, By Mary Laven

China's current status as a fountain of wealth probably means that Marco Polo's book will persist as the preferred British reading on early East-West contacts. But while he deserves due credit for his powers of observation, his standpoint remains throughout that of an expat, separated from the locals by communication barriers and concerned with the cultural sphere mainly when it affects his ability to make money. Three centuries later, we do find a man who did learn to speak the language, and to read the difficult literary texts of the cultural heritage, with the much more ambitious aim of changing China's way of thinking.

The Experts' Guide To The World: Beijing

Once you get out of the Beijing suburbs, the road takes you through the hills, an increasingly dry landscape as you head north along a dusty, winding course. After just 50km, you are in a craggy, mountainous area where the breakneck expansion of the Chinese economy has no influence – more like the China we know from the long, shimmering ancient tapestries on silk.

Tibetan leader cleared by inquiry into funds

Indian authorities have cleared the Karmapa, Tibetan Buddhism's third most important leader, in an investigation into how $1.35m (£840,000) in cash made its way to his headquarters in northern India.

Picture of the Day: The bride wore snakeskin

Hundreds of villagers flocked to a wedding ceremony yesterday between a 16-foot female python and her slightly smaller mate – both believed to be magic snakes that bring prosperity and peace.

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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 17 April 2015
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

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Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

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Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

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Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders