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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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?