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Not content with being Time's Person of the Year and scoring a Rolling Stone cover, Pope Francis has now achieved superhero status, at least in the eyes of graffiti artist Maupal.

Moving photographs show Pope Francis embracing man disfigured by disease

Following his general audience in St Peter's Square Pope Francis kissed and blessed the man, whose face was covered in tumours

The last word: the library room at JK Place Roma

Room Service: Letters to write home about

JK Place Roma, Italy

Security forces prepare to evacuate caravans belonging to the Roma community during the dismantling of a camp in Roubaix

François Hollande under intense pressure to resolve split within French government over mass expulsion of Roma immigrants

Left and Right accuse president of ignoring divisive issue

The lengths athletes will go to.... Italian long-distance runner Devis Licciardi accused of using fake penis to beat doping test

A fake penis might be novel but the use of substitute urine isn’t

Postcard from...Rome

The Progress Party appears on course to enter government, despite its past links to Anders Breivik

Norway election results: Anti-immigrant party with links to mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik set to enter government under Conservative leader Erna Solberg

Utoya mass murderer Breivik was a member of the populist right-wing Progress party, which is set to join three centre-right parties in a coalition

Pablo Osvaldo has spoken of his happiness at securing a move to Southampton from former club Roma

Transfer news: Southampton striker Pablo Osvaldo says he made the right decision to head to the Premier League after being forced out at Roma

Italian reveals he had received threats and insults from Roma fans which left him no option than to leave the club

On this day 1504: Michaelangelo's David unveiled in Florence

Michelangelo's David was unveiled in Florence 509 years ago today.

The Pope has made his most significant appointment to date, appointing Pietro Parolin the Holy See’s Secretary of State

Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Pietro Parolin as his 'deputy'

The 58-year-old Italian will become the Holy See's Secretary of State

Pope Francis takes Twitter by storm in the first Papal selfie

Pope Francis has taken the Twittersphere by storm yet again with the world's first papal 'selfie'.

Book review: Let the Games Begin, By Niccolò Ammaniti, trans. Kylee Doust

Fame, and the fury it attracts, drive a devilish Italian tale
Erik Lamela

Transfer news: Tottenham agree £25.8m deal for Erik Lamela confirm Roma

Argentina international set for switch to White Hart Lane

Erik Lamela

Transfer analysis: Fury at Roma as Erik Lamela - 'the heir to Francesco Totti' - nears move to Tottenham

Argentina international expected to complete £30m move to White Hart Lane and - unlike Willian - comes with the guarantee of goals

Pope Francis has taken to making personal calls to individuals

Francis’s calls to the masses (was it on the Pope mobile?)

You’d be forgiven for hanging up if someone called your landline and announced, “It’s the Pope”.

Florin Cioaba: Activist and 'King of the Roma'

Florin Cioaba was the son of the Romanian Roma leader Ion Cioaba. His ancestors had been a powerful Roma family for several generations but they were no strangers to misfortune. Ion was deported, with thousands of other Romani people to Transdniestria in 1942 by the pro-Nazi Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu. With most of their property confiscated they were only allowed to carry hand luggage, with which they were supposed to survive the winter.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project