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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment