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

God's Dog, By Diego Marani; trans Judith Landry: Book review - detective novel reimagines Rome as a sinister theocratic state

"My name is Domingo Salazar; I was born on the feast of Saint Dominic and brought up by the Dominican Fathers. I am a policeman, I see to it that the laws of our Holy Mother Church are respected and I work for the worldwide spread of that same Church… I studied at the patriarchal monastery in Bologna and then at the Papal Police Academy in Rome, which I left with the rank of inspector in the fifth year of the reign of Pope Benedict XVIII."

King Tutankhamun was buried with an upright penis in order to portray him as Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife, new research suggests

King Tutankhamun was mummified with an erect penis to 'quash religious revolution'

The ancient Egyptian pharaoh was buried with an erect penis, no heart and covered in black oils to make him appear as the god Osiris, new study claims

The United Nations building in New York

Christianity dominates United Nations, concludes study

More than 70% religious non-government organisations (NGOs) at the UN are Christian

The 10 best hair tools

Want to make a style statement this NYE? Try one of these curlers, stylers and straighteners on your locks to see in 2014 with a new do

Kalashnikov with his creation, the most successful assault rifle ever made

Is Mikhail Kalashnikov in Hell? The man was confident he would not go there

World view: When I met him, his Siberian eyes were as alert as a wolf’s; he was brash, tough, unashamed. I guess he had to be

Batten down the hatches – its Defcon Crimbo

Here comes the Christmas juggernaut. Batten down the hatches. Raise the mistletoe. Double the electricity bill on exterior festive lighting. I'm very bah humbug regarding Christmas whereas Stacey is full steam ahead – Defcon Crimbo.

Pope Francis gives Christmas presents to 2,000 immigrants

Pope had gift packages delivered to the Dono di Maria homeless shelter in Rome

Mother of Michael Adebowale said son was ‘lured by evil ones’

Juliet Adebowale said her son had only met Michael Adebolajo just seven weeks before

Russell Howard has been forced to deny that he has accepted an invitation to perform at an upcoming benefit gig for the Church of Scientology.

Russell Howard forced to deny Scientology benefit gig rumours

The comedian was rumoured to be performing for the controversial church for eye-watering ticket prices of up to £1,000

Michael Adebolajo in court

Lee Rigby murder trial: Defendants will not face charge of conspiracy to murder

The two men in the dock over the killing of Lee Rigby will no longer face the additional charge of conspiracy to murder a police officer.

Christians at a village Christian church service in Henan Province, China

Sky News crew trapped as China crowd turns on detained Christian pastor

A group of Chinese rights lawyers advocating for a detained Christian pastor and his aides in central China said they were assaulted Friday by a crowd of unidentified people who also harassed a British television crew.

Pope Francis named Time Magazine's person of the Year: The new spiritual leader on the block

The award recognises impact, not ethics. But in the Pope's case, we have a voice reminding us of tenderness, mercy and compassion

People sing and dance in heavy rain while waiting for the start of the official memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank stadium in Johannesburg

In pictures: Nelson Mandela memorial service in Soweto

Over 60 heads of state have travelled to South Africa to attend a week of events commemorating the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mr Mandela passed away on the evening of 5 December 2013 at his home in Houghton at the age of 95.

Nelson Mandela in 1956

Nelson Mandela life story: Thabo Mbeki's praise poem

'You have stood at the brink...'

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Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness