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Robed in white and waving at an unknown subject, he is accompanied  by a 7,700-word cover story aptly titled The Times they are A-Changing

‘Miracle’ could see John Paul II canonised in record time

Pope John Paul II could be canonised by October, eight years after his death, according to Vatican sources quoted in the Italian press that say the additional miracle required for his next step towards sainthood has already been identified.

Pope Francis meets Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in first for Vatican in 600 years

Present and former Pope wore similar white clerical garb at Castel Gandolfo

Pope Francis sets out to defend the weak
as hundreds of thousands gather for inauguration mass in St Peter's Square

Former cardinal  looked slightly awkward as he greeted Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe

Our new Pope offers an opportunity for the rebirth of the Church

He must be prepared to stand up for the common good; to stand up for women, and deal with the scandal that is child abuse

Pope Francis and Alfredo Di Stefano, pictured in 1963

Did the Pope play football with Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano?

The pair went to the same school in Buenos Aires

Swiss actor Bruno Ganz is most well-known for his portrayal of Hitler in Downfall

Adolf Hitler actor Bruno Ganz to play Pope in US television series

As the cardinals deliberated in Rome last week, halfway around the world in Hollywood another Pope was being picked. A new television drama about the Vatican has selected as its pontiff an actor best known for playing Adolf Hitler.

Children on adults' shoulders await Pope Francis

In pictures: Pope Francis' first public appearance in Vatican

Informal, spontaneous style continues to delight the crowds

The new Pope takes to the stage

Now media gets the papal charm offensive

The new pontiff broke with plenty of traditions at his first press conference

The newly-elected Pope Francis addresses journalists in the Vatican

Pope Francis calls for 'a poor Church for the poor' and reveals St Francis of Assisi as namesake

The new pontiff  lauds the saint as a 'man who loves and looks after what has been created'

The Archbishop of Buenos Aires is the first non-European pope for 1,000 years
Pope Francis waves the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica

So what happens next for Pope Francis?

Having begun his reign, auspiciously enough, with a self-deprecating joke – “the duty of the cardinals is to elect a Bishop of Rome,” he deadpanned, “and they’ve gone to the end of the world to find one” – Pope Francis went back inside St Peter’s for the solemn ceremonies that conclude the Conclave process, the most important of which is a Mass in the Sistine Chapel with the other 114 cardinal electors.

Newly elected Pope Francis I appears on the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica

Pope Francis is both a continuation of the past and also something very different for the future

Whatever end of the spectrum they stand in, most Catholics know their church is in trouble. Pope Francis may just be the miracle they've been waiting for

No more smoke and mirrors; 'The Voice' and 'The Hunger Games'

Pope Idol: The Pope-pickers could have made things a bit more lively

John Walsh offers some tips for next time

LA child sex abuse case involving one of the 115 cardinals currently voting to elect the next Pope is settled for $10 million

Cardinal Roger Mahony is accused of covering for a confessed paedophile

As cardinals gather to elect Pope, Catholic officials break into a sweat over news that priests share €23m building with huge gay sauna

A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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