News A policeman and relatives gather around the flag-draped casket of a policeman, who was killed in a bomb attack in Charsadda, on the outskirts of Peshawar

The policemen were guarding polio vaccination workers

High spirits: comedian Pippa Evans, co-founder of the Sunday Assembly

The Week in Comedy: All smiles on Sunday with a radical take on religion

It wasn't your average Advent Sunday service. It started with a rousing chorus of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' and ended with Abba's 'Waterloo'. In between there was a poem dedicated to Tony Wilson, a mini rave and a Danish clapping game. This was Sunday Assembly, a "godless church" which has one aim - to celebrate life. It has all the trappings of a traditional Sunday service – a sermon, songs, readings, community notices, a collection, tea and cakes – but none of the religion. Its only creed is live better, help often, wonder more.

Nigeria eases curfew and boosts security in Maiduguri following attacks by militants

Nigerian authorities relaxed a curfew and intensified military patrols in Maiduguri on Tuesday, a day after suspected Islamist militants launched strikes on military bases in the northeast city.

Parsifal: Opera review

Royal Opera House, London

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif assures Hamid Karzai of peace-talk 'facilitation' after release of senior Taliban leader

Afghanistan considers that Pakistan holds significant influence over Taliban, who are believed to launch attacks from bases in the country

Muqtada al-Sadr has a peerless record of opposing Saddam Hussein

Sadrism deeply divides the Iraqi Shia, many of whom see the movement as having a history of sectarian violence

Protesters burn the US flag in Peshawar yesterday

Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan leads anti-drone protesters in blockade of key Nato supply line

Thousands rally in Peshawar, amid fears the CIA will aim unmanned anti-Taliban strikes deeper into Pakistani territory

Paperback review: Man Belong Mrs Queen, by Matthew Baylis

Growing up in 1980s Southport, Matthew Baylis always felt a sense of solidarity with the gaffe-prone Duke of Edinburgh, who was, like him, “unpopular, posh, misunderstood and mocked”. So when he later learned of a tribe that worshipped Prince Philip as a god, he decided to investigate. Man Belong Mrs Queen tells the story of Baylis’s trip to the Melanesian island of Tanna, where he stays with the “Philippists”, shares their diet of yams and potent narcotics, and tries to get to the bottom of their religion.

Police on guard outside the Peckford Place property yesterday

Lambeth slavery case: Two victims initially 'lived in a collective' with male suspect, police say

Shared 1960s ideology originally led two of the rescued women to move in with male suspect

In England’s attachment to the cult of ‘beat your man’ Andros Townsend is the latest saviour

Kevin Garside: England are handicapped by a culture that struggles to show sufficient pride in the national shirt

There is a huge pride in representation, that by pulling on the jersey you serve

Tickets for the Bush address are available for up to $100,000

George Bush’s Second Coming – Dubya on a Christian mission to convert Jews

If George W Bush thought he was done being controversial, it appears he was mistaken. Next week, the 43rd US president will deliver the keynote address at a fundraising event for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MBJI), a global organisation that trains its members to convert Jews to Christianity, in the hope of bringing about the Second Coming of Christ.

Mullah Fazlullah: The hardliner elected as Pakistan Taliban’s new leader

They call him ‘Mullah Radio’ and his message is clear: there will be no more talk with the regime

Mosque bombing kills provincial governor Arsallah Jamal in Afghanistan during Eid al-Adha holiday

A bomb planted inside a mosque microphone killed the governor of Afghanistan's eastern Logar province as he was delivering a speech to worshippers on this morning to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said.

Senior Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud seized by US forces in Afghanistan

American troops have captured senior Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud, but several conflicting accounts mean the exact details remain unclear.

A still in the film East End Babylon showing Cockney Rejects on stage in 1980

Musical footnotes to movie stars: How rockumentaries looked to the margins

Rockumentaries used to focus on chart-toppers, but now the cult heroes of times past are in the spotlight, says Pierre Perrone

Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'

Story of Jesus Christ was 'fabricated to pacify the poor', claims controversial Biblical scholar

Christianity was a sophisticated government propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of a the Roman Empire, claims scholar

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone