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

GOD - A CURRICULUM VITAE

God is unknowable and indescribable - but is it really impossible to profile him, or her, or them? Here, Paul Handley investigates - while over the following pages we examine the spiritual state of the nation

Christmas presents: Gifts for men

Subjected to a perennial onslaught of useless gizmos and novelty boxer shorts, it is hardly surprising that many men seem a little harried by the entire christmas gift scenario. About their true desires however, men are notoriously reticent and remain difficult to please. But according to a reliable source, the most important factors to bear in mind are surprise, humour and practicality. And if your imagination fails you, booze and football paraphernalia are always a winner.

Motor Cycle Show: Battle of the 150mph monsters

As the Motor Cycle Show opens, reveals Roland Brown, there's never been a better time to sit on a bike.

The Intelligent Consumer: Wash, wax and polish

cleanse, tone and moisturise; Why's skincare like car care? Because if you don't do it regularly, boys, the rot sets in. Annalisa Barbieri on products for men

For goodness sake, do something

Learn to play golf or drive a steam train. Your holiday can offer the chance to gain new skills.

Motoring: Raging Buell

Packing an 86 horsepower punch, the Lightning is a weapon on wheels, writes Roland Brown

Books: The mild one who revved up for an uneasy ride

From biker gangs to mob clans: Laura Thompson (left) and Ian Thomson on women in a man's world; The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Granta, pounds 10.99

Johnson pulls up as drama proves lame

The answer to the question of who is the fastest man in the world remained open here in the SkyDome last night as Michael Johnson pulled up limping 70 metres from the line in his 150 metres One-to-One Challenge against Donovan Bailey.

Hide and chic

Is it worth it? : Millionaire Hell's Angels take note, pounds 3,800 buys the last word in biker gear

HOW WE MET; EMMYLOU HARRIS AND PHIL KAUFMAN

The singer Emmylou Harris, 47, was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She started her career singing with country rock pioneer Gram Parsons, then after his death in 1973 went on to record 15 albums, including last year's acclaimed Wrecking Ball. She has been married three times, has two daughters, aged 17 and 26, and now lives in Nashville with her mother.

The thing about... Zippo lighters

One of the bits of wisdom disseminated by those advising smokers on how to give up is to throw away all the accoutrements of the weed. Ditch the nacre-covered party case, heave that art deco holder, turn the ashtrays into peanut bowls, sling that tiny silver spoon on a chain - whoops, wrong habit. If you're going to prove your determination, they all have to go.

Golf: Europe's big inspiration

Andy Farrell talks to Laura Davies about the need to tame the Americans

Spam Queens and empty briefcases

WAITING FOR THE SUN: The Story of the Los Angeles Music Scene by Barney Hoskyns, Viking pounds 20

How to master the art of showing off

Today we turn to the subject of master classes. No festival would be complete without a master class. No TV schedule would be complete without a master class or two, especially if the TV station is looking to have its franchise renewed and wants to look a bit cultural, cheaply.

Britain: Hogs hit the road

More than 100 Harley Davidson owners converged on the Hard Rock Cafe in London's West End yesterday to celebrate the restaurant chain's 25th anniversary. After breakfast, the riders, who included singer Paul Young, set off in two groups for Paris. They were to meet French Harley owners just outside the city, and then move on to the Hard Rock on Boulevard Montmartre, where a party had been organised.
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Independent Travel
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
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...