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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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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor