British Tibetan Monk 'assassinated' in China

High-profile monk co-founded the the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland

Review: Writing on the Wall, By Tom Standage

An attempt to chart social media from its earliest incidences to now

Civilians flee rebels re-taking Christian town of Maaloula in Syria civil war

Rebels led by al-Qa’ida-linked fighters gained control of a Christian town north-east of the capital, Damascus, Syrian activists said on Sunday, while government media continued to claim that regime forces were winning.

Book review: Band of Angels, By Kate Cooper

In its earliest centuries, the religion of outcasts and rebels had women at its heart

An Egyptian holds up a banner of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo

Egypt: Supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi turn on Christians in angry backlash

Scores killed and many wounded as Coptic churches and properties are hit by violent mobs

A monk at Esphigmenou monastery on Mount Athos, Greece, surveys the scene ahead of eviction

Greek monks defy eviction with Molotov cocktails

Monks refusing to obey an eviction order hurled Molotov cocktails at bailiffs who were trying to bulldoze their way into a monastic sanctuary in Mount Athos, northern Greece on Monday morning.

Radu Vasile was a former Romanian prime minister

Radu Vasile: Politician who as Romania's prime minister paved his country's way into the EU

Radu Vasile, who died of colon cancer on 3 June, was a former Romanian prime minister who helped pave the way for his country's accession to the European Union but was finally brought down by political feuding and protests against economic reforms he struggled to implement.

The national trust Holy island castle from Lindisfarne Priory

Walk of the Month: Bamburgh, Northumberland - a thousand tales lurk among these dramatic cliffs and crags

There’s plenty of history to discover on this dramatic walk along the Northumberland coast, says Mark Rowe

Production at the Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy-Rochefort abbey is under threat - from the expansion of a limestone quarry which will cut off their water supply

Trappist brewery under threat from expansion of limestone quarry

Plans will cut water supply to abbey where Belgian monks brew prized Rochefort ale

The high life: Private-jet flying, aviator-wearing Buddhist monks captured on video

A group of Buddhist monks have become the subject of complaints after videos of them on a private jet, wearing aviators and listening to personal headphones emerged on Youtube.

Mysterious ways: The Latin chants of French Benedictine monks at prayer can now be enjoyed on the internet

Monks of Le Barroux go live: Matins at dawn - it's iChants for early risers

French Benedictine abbey streams its daily round of Latin liturgy to a worldwide audience

The hills and valleys of Priorat in Spain

Summer Guide 2013: Treks

Get in the saddle of a heavy horse at the only riding establishment in the UK specialising in these magnificent beasts. Cumbrian Heavy Horses (01229 777764; cumbrianheavyhorses.com), near Millom, is offering a new three-day ride around the central Lake District on its Clydesdale, Shire and Ardennes breeds this summer. The trek passes through the

Argentina: Pope 'not responsible for my arrest,' says former Jesuit priest

A former Jesuit priest has denied that he and a colleague were imprisoned by Argentina’s military junta in 1976 after being denounced by the order’s then leader, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis.

Pope Francis at his inauguration mass

Pope Francis defended against allegations of collusion with Argentine junta by alleged victim

Jesuit priest emphatically denies being denounced by Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Thousands attend Pope Benedict XVI's blessing

Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful from his window overlooking St Peter's Square for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.

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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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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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