News Pope Francis appears to have been captured on video performing an exorcism in St Peter’s Square

The diocese in Italy is training priests to meet increasing demand for exorcisms

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: ‘Satanic Verses’ forced me to declare myself a Muslim

Suddenly it became okay to despise all Muslims, even at my left-wing magazine

Nigeria arrests 'exorcist bishop'

Nigeria has cracked down on the abuse of children branded as witches after a British investigation into the practice. A man calling himself "the bishop", who said he had killed more than 100 people possessed by the devil, has been arrested.

Scandal of the children killed for 'witchcraft'

In Nigeria, rogue pastors prey on fears of black magic to drum up a lucrative trade in 'exorcisms'

The Devil's Dictionary, By Ambrose Bierce and Ralph Steadman

Bile flowed in the veins of this restless moralist, who disappeared mysteriously in 1913.

Knox 'stabbed Kercher in neck as part of satanic rite'

Prosecutor: American delivered fatal blow, then student was strangled

Swiss finally clear the last 'witch' beheaded in Europe

Anna Goeldi was executed for being a witch more than 220 years ago, the last one beheaded in Europe. On Wednesday, the Swiss cleared her name. The parliament of the Swiss canton (state) of Glarus decided unanimously to exonerate Goeldi as a victim of "judicial murder", said Josef Schwitter, a government spokesman.

Jim Rose Circus, Udderbelly's Pasture

Having taken a straw poll of a number of people who witnessed the Jim Rose Circus in its Nineties heyday, it seems that the ringmaster of the weird has lost the crack in his whip.

Last Night's TV: The Devil has got all the best goons

Reaper, E4; Wonderland, BBC2

A literary visionary: Milton and his Satanic verses

Four centuries after his birth, Cambridge University is honouring the poet who gave life to the devil in print. And without him, we might not have had the Hobbit or Harry Potter, says Andy McSmith

Eales returns to torment England

Poor old England are not having an easy time of it ahead of this weekend's opening Test against Australia. Deflated by news from the Churchill Cup tournament in Canada, where the laughably rebranded "Saxons" lost a second-string international to a team of Picts masquerading as Scotland A, and thoroughly depressed by the New South Wales deluge that disrupted their training here yesterday, Andy Robinson's tourists were further dismayed by a snippet of information from the Wallaby camp. John Eales is back.

Desmond Dekker, voice of Jamaica's slums, dies at 64

Desmond Dekker, the orphan who trained as a welder alongside one Robert Marley and led the march of Jamaican music on to the global charts, has died aged 64.

Preview: The White Devil, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton

The lovers have a devil of a time
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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