Voices A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas

Enigmas of this nature are more common than one might expect

Scientology anger over book ruling

LEADERS OF the Church of Scientology and US officials yesterday criticised a Swedish court ruling which will allow the public access to the church's holiest book.

Russia's PM linked to Scientologists

RUSSIA'S youthful, inexperienced and - until last week - almost unheard of prime minister-designate was yesterday grappling with potentially damaging allegations linking him with the Church of Scientology.

Skyscrapers rain terror on New York

New York's skyscrapers are crumbling alarmingly, showering debris into the streets far below. Last week big chunks fell off two buildings and another collapsed, endangering the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square. And before Christmas a ton of bricks came tumbling from another skyscraper.

Oh come all ye unfaithful, sinful and indulgent

Fed Up with Christmas already? Bored with all the carols? Irritated by the folksy, phoney bonhomie? Does the sudden rise in church attendances, the one-off bending of the knee, strike you as the most despicable, unholy hypocrisy? Then maybe the Church of Satan is for you.

Scientology: Media blitz launched in modern religious war

Germany has become alarmed at the success of the Church of Scientology's propaganda campaign in the US. Angered by the Nazi slur, Bonn is about to launch a media blitz of its own, reports Imre Karacs.

Travolta begs Channel 4 not to attack Scientology

John Travolta, the actor, has written to Michael Jackson, Channel 4's controller, imploring him not to allow the showing of a documentary on the life of L Ron Hubbard, founder of the controversial Church of Scientology.

Focus: Why Channel 4 is haunted by Scientology

The sect has hired a private eye to follow the makers of a documentary film who, it claims, are out to destroy it

Who will rock the cradle?

You have to work, so someone else has to look after your children. But how can you be sure you can trust the most precious thing in your life to a complete stranger? Sally Staples says no nanny or au pair will be perfect, but offers some guidelines for finding the best help for you.

Cinema: Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

The pre-publicity has been monstrous - I feel as if I've been finding pop-up Pete Postlethwaites in my Hula Hoops since the Silurian period - but The Lost World: Jurassic Park (PG) has finally arrived. Based on a novel by Michael Crichton with a title plagiarised from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is Steven Spielberg's first spell in the director's baseball cap since Schindler's List. Like its saurian stars, The Lost World is massive, terrifying, and has a brain the size of a walnut.

When Marcia Clark failed to persuade a jury that OJ Simpson was guilty of murder, she fell from grace with a bump - less a legal eagle than a dead parrot. Today's the day she gets her own back.

Today is the day that Marcia Clark comes out of hibernation, returning to the public stage to reclaim her piece of the OJ Simpson pie. For nearly two years, the prosecutor in the Simpson case has kept mum on her leading, losing role in a murder prosecution she considered eminently winnable, suffering what she calls a "malaise". More practically, she was bound to silence by the terms of a $4.2m book contract. But on the day that Without a Doubt at last arrives in American bookshops, she launches a 12-city US tour with a heart-to-heart with Barbara Walters, the lisping diva of American television hostesses, an encounter that promises to deliver at least one startling revelation.

Another planet

One day - when I was a teenager - I decided to have my personality tested. For weeks I had passed the odd-looking bookshop near Goodge Street Tube station, on London's Tottenham Court Road, which advertised on-the- spot analysis. Perhaps it was the luridly illustrated science-fiction paperbacks in the window, or the insistent manner with which the man in the doorway invited youngsters (always youngsters) to come inside, that put me off. And then, in a fit of self-confidence, I went inside and filled in the interminable questionnaire about holes in my life (none, unfortunately), spiritual emptiness (also absent) and my longing for completeness (incomplete).

Angry Germany points to the past

Germans of all political persuasions and religious beliefs united yesterday to rebut the slur that their country was conducting a Nazi-style persecution of Scientologists.

In the temples of Hollywood, they like to look after the stars of Scientology

The sect of the `Thetans' has acquired a kind of respectability in the US, says David Usborne

Stars attack Germany's stance on Scientology

Hollywood's finest have risen against German oppression, striking a blow for a well-heeled but persecuted minority. In an "open letter" addressed to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, cunningly disguised as a full-page advert in yesterday's International Herald Tribune, Dustin Hoffman, Goldie Hawn and company accuse the German government of Nazi-style repression of Scientologists.

Scientologists declare war on 'Nazi' Germany

After months of skirmishes, the Church of Scientology has declared total war on Germany, accusing it of Nazi-style intolerance towards adherents of the California-based religion. A full-page advertisement in Thursday's New York Times newspaper drew parallels between the Holocaust and German attempts to curtail the activities of Scientologists.
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada