Travel Shore leave: a sunset stroll

In this week's Lonely Planet 'Great Escape', be the first to catch the Australian sunrise, then re-align your chakras on the shores of New South Wales's blissed-out beach retreat

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers vote Conservative, claims new research

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers most consistently back the Conservatives, according to new research.

Politics and religion: Labour should target Muslims, survey finds, Conservatives Jews and Lib Dems... Buddhists

Among Christians, Anglicans are the most consistently authoritarian and conservative, while Catholics are more likely to be left-wing

Pakistani Christian villagers march during a protest against the country's strict blasphemy laws against Islam in Korian

Death sentence for British pensioner accused of blasphemy in Pakistan

The man was given the sentence despite having a history mental illness

Nicolas Anelka appears to make the 'la quenelle' gesture after scoring the first goal for West Brom in the 3-3 draw against West Ham

Nicolas Anelka defends 'quenelle' gesture: 'I am not anti-Semitic or racist' says West Brom striker, who asks FA to drop charge

The Frenchman made the gesture after scoring against West Ham and faces a minimum of five games out if found guilty

Ukip suspends councillor David Silvester who blamed floods on David Cameron passing gay marriage bill

Party officials act after Mr Silvester gave radio interview saying he ‘prays gay people will be healed’

Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children

Shocking figures reveal Pope Benedict defrocked child-molesting priests at a rate of more than one every two days during his last years of office

Pope Benedict XVI defrocked child-molesting priests at a rate of more than one every two days in his last years of office, the Vatican has revealed.

Yeezianity: The church of Kanye West

The new 'religion', based on the rapper, aims to bring about the 'Creative Age'

Pope Francis addresses ambassadors to the Holy See at the Vatican on January 13, 2014

Pope Francis removes four cardinals in Vatican bank shake-up

Pope Francis continues his shake-up of the Catholic Church after sacking four cardinals from the Vatican Bank commission on Wednesday.

Taliban militants - there was a risk the man could face persecution in Afghanistan for having rejected Islam

Afghan atheist to get asylum in Britain on religious grounds

A supervisor on the case, said: 'The decision represents an important recognition that a lack of religious belief is in itself a thoughtful and seriously-held philosophical position'

Goggins: he served in the Home Office and Northern Ireland Office

Paul Goggins: Respected and admired Labour MP whose politics and social activism were fuelled by his Roman Catholic faith

The unusually subdued and non-partisan mood that came over MPs during Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions was partly attributable to the shock caused by the early death of the conscientious and popular Labour MP, Paul Goggins. "He was a kind, brilliant man who believed profoundly in public service," David Cameron told the House, while Ed Miliband described him as "someone of the deepest principle."

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

Catholic church trains more priests to perform exorcisms

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

God's Cadets: Joining the Salvation Army, BBC4 - TV review

You might assume that the participants in the BBC4 documentary God's Cadets: Joining the Salvation Army would all be classic "lark" types, but there was a greater variety of personality than expected in this 90-minute film. It followed the pious, but not pompous "cadets" who had given up their lives to enter into two years of intensive officer training at the William Booth College in south London.

The pope has a lamb put around his neck by a woman dressed as a character from the nativity scene at Church of St Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in the outskirts of Rome

Pope visits Nativity re-enactment

Pastafarian minister Christopher Schaeffer is sworn into New York Town Council

Mr Schaeffer, a minister for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, wore a colander on his head as he took his oath 

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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...