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The Pope described abortion as part of modern ‘throwaway culture’ which has grown to encompass human beings themselves

Speedway: The dirt flies in the Forest

The Anniversary: Modern speedway racing was merely a babe in the woods 71 years ago

Travel: Australia - Deep purple and kind of blue

Changing light, gaping chasms, vast silent spaces... could Australia's MacDonnell mountains be heaven?

Firearms dealer linked to 130 crimes

A FORMER Special Constable with a penchant for Harley- Davidson motorbikes makes an unlikely quartermaster toone of the country's most prolific suppliers of illegal guns. Nevertheless, police have netted a key figure in the underworld of firearms dealing.

Corpse rides off into sunset

A DEVOTED son took his father on a last motorcycle ride through Copenhagen, bought him a drink and a cigar, and at the end of the three- hour spin delivered him to a police station in Frederikssund. Untouched by this exuberant display of filial love, the law charged Flemming Petersen with illicit handling of a corpse.

Inside business: Embrace the human touch

For all the homage paid to customer service, many organisations still fail to grasp what people really value. Roger Trapp reports

Heaven is on a Harley to Harlech

Always fancied yourself as a bit of an `Easy Rider'? Nerys Lloyd- Pierce takes a dream machine down the byways of Wales

The Saturday Essay: Disneyfication that impoverishes us all

America's global culture is not so much hostile as indifferent to democracy. Its goal is a global consumer society.

Disgraced peer rides out of jail on a Harley

IT WAS a passion for classic cars that precipitated Lord Brocket's downfall. So his decision to depart from prison yesterday astride a gleaming Harley-Davidson motorbike was equivalent to sticking two fingers up at authority.

Preview: silver polish metalanguage 2

"Metalanguage 2" is the misleadingly dull title of an exhibition which is set to dazzle visitors to the Barbican Centre. The ongoing "Inventing America" season has so far featured cultural phenomena as diverse as Cajun music and cookery and an exhibition of Harley Davidson motorbikes. This eclecticism continues unabated from today, with a show by leading American artists and metalsmiths Rachelle Thiewes and Harriete Estel Berman. Both women work primarily in silver - in common with the rest of the "Metalanguage" exhibitors - and use the material to express complementary concerns. Thiewes, from Minnesota, is concerned with bodily adornment, while Pennsylvania- born Berman uses customised domestic appliances to express ironically the place of women in American society (see right). In short it's a fine chance to catch sight of some shining lights of American art - metal gurus, if you like.

The Weasel:

Spotting the steaming ladle poised in her hand, I deemed it wise to avoid any criticism

GLOBAL MYTHS NO 6

Another story from the travellers' grapevine

Leader: Spare this woman of God, and spare everybody

Why do Americans have their doubts about executing Karla Faye Tucker by lethal injection at midnight tomorrow? Is it because she had been provoked beyond endurance by the man she killed, who used to park his Harley Davidson in her front room? No. Not even the fact that the motorbike leaked oil, making a terrible mess of the carpet, was grounds for pleading justifiable homicide. Even in America, where McDonald's can be sued for making its coffee hot and therefore dangerous when held between the knees while driving.

Essentials with Janet Knight: Harley-Davidson

The Time: now, until 26 April

I don't know much about art, but I know how to bike

While mainly associated with Hell's Angels, 'Easy Rider' and the endless open road, the Harley-Davidson motorcycle has also been a platform for wild creativity, as Serena Mackesy discovers at the Barbican.

Leather Forever!

Each year 200,000 motorcyclists invade the small town of Sturgis, South Dakota. As the Barbican prepares to celebrate 'The Art of the Harley', our reporter finds out what life is like among the bikers
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own