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Not content with being Time's Person of the Year and scoring a Rolling Stone cover, Pope Francis has now achieved superhero status, at least in the eyes of graffiti artist Maupal.

Tony Harrison's infamous poem can still shock and divide people

Radio 4 plans to air 'obscene' 1980s poem V by Tony Harrison

Mary Whitehouse must be spinning in her grave. A quarter of a century after she led the uproar over Channel 4 broadcasting the notorious poem V, the work is to be reprised by BBC Radio 4.

Great Works: Flaming, 2008 by Zevs

Dirty City Wall, Copenhagen

Why you shouldn't advertise your party on Facebook

A girl advertised her house party in Essex on Facebook - and as a result over 200 people turned up and caused £30,000 worth of damage.

Beyoncé is crazy in love with her own movie

Warbling, it appears, just isn't enough for some singers. Beyoncé is the latest musician who has turned director with a documentary about (what else?) herself, for the US network HBO.

Riots flare in Northern Ireland for second night over Union flag decision

More attacks have been carried out on the non-sectarian Alliance Party during a night of violence in Northern Ireland.

Book of a lifetime: True History of the Conquest of New Spain, By Bernal Díaz

I read Bernal Díaz's 'True History of the Conquest of New Spain' about 30 years ago in JM Cohen's 1963 translation for Penguin Classics. It is an eyewitness account of Hernan Cortes's expedition to Mexico in 1519 by one of his principal captains, a soldier from Medina del Campo.

The best Christmas gifts for the tyke

Main image: Spiderman toy, £19.69, and magnetic frame set, £12, both John Lewis

Vhils: The art of urban decay

The 25-year-old Portugese street artist who uses peeling billboards and abandoned doors as canvases

Police are investigating after a painting by the great 20th century abstract artist Mark Rothko was defaced at the Tate Modern in London today.

Rothko painting victim of 'Yellowism' protest could take 18 months to restore

The American painter’s 1958 abstract masterpiece is valued at tens of millions of pounds was scribbled on in a 'guerrilla' art attack

Lord McAlpine may sue the BBC

Jimmy Savile 'would run his lips up arms of young female assistants' while visiting St James's Palace

Jimmy Savile would greet young female staff members at St James’s Palace by running his lips up their forearms, giving rise to “concern and suspicion” according to one former senior aide to the alleged paedophile’s friend the Prince of Wales.

'You've brought shame on us all:' Angry family members target Jimmy Savile's great-niece on Facebook after she speaks out about the star molesting her

Revelations came the same day as Jimmy Savile’s Scottish holiday home is attacked by vandals

Wlodzimierz Umaniec AKA Vladimir Umanets admits defacing Mark Rothko painting at London's Tate Modern

A man has admitted defacing a Mark Rothko painting at London's Tate Modern gallery after it was graffitied with black paint.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas