News

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.

Italy hails 'an outbreak of modernity in the Church' as Pope Benedict XVI announces he will resign because of ill health

Pope Benedict XVI is the first pontiff to stand down in nearly 600 years

A life in pictures: Pope Benedict XVI

A selection of images from the life of the 265th Pope Joseph Ratzinger

Nicolas Mas of France holds his head in disappointment during his team's match with Wales

Six Nations: George North changes Wales' fortunes

France 6 Wales 16: Rob Howley can smile at last as victory in France ends a run of eight defeats and signals a wave of relief

Sergio Parisse and his side are confident they can build on beating France

Scots braced for Sergio Parisse's history men

Italy look for first ever back-to-back wins in a Six Nations campaign against Johnson's side

Maarten Stekelenburg

Maarten Stekelenburg claims loan move to Fulham fell through last night

Netherlands goalkeeper has lost his place in the Roma side

Stojka in 2003 with one of her paintings, ‘Vienna-Auschwitz’

Ceija Stojka: Holocaust survivor who championed Roma rights

Ceija Stojka, who died on 28 January at the age of 79, survived three Nazi death camps and then found her life's work: raising awareness of the Nazis' persecution of the Roma people in her art and her writings. Stojka carried the horrors of the camps with her until she was in her fifties, speaking out only decades after she was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen camp at the age of 12.

Italian fashion house Fendi announced it would finance a renovation of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, becoming the latest luxury group to fund repairs on a priceless heritage

Trevi fountain in Rome gets a Fendi makeover

The Fendi fashion house has announced that it is financing the €2.18m (£1.88m) restoration of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the latest fashion company to come to the aid of Italy’s chronically underfunded cultural heritage.

Album review: Andrea Bocelli, Passione (Decca)

Before he became a household name, Andrea Bocelli paid his dues in bars, doing the kind of romantic repertoire that best tickled punters' palates.

Massadio Haidara

Newcastle clinch deal for French defender Massadio Haidara

Fee agreed for French Under-21 international

Edinson Cavani

Napoli president wants to partner Edinson Cavani with Mario Balotelli

Manchester City have reportedly been targeting Cavani

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Travel from Chile to the UK

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Daniele De Rossi

Roma issue hands off warning over Manchester City 'target' Daniele De Rossi

The Italian midfielder is admired by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

Vatican's cut-price nativity hits poorest Italian taxpayers

The economic crunch has hit Christmas at the Vatican this year, with a cut-price Nativity scene in St Peter's Square, even if the bill will be met by already hard-pushed Italian taxpayers.

Gareth Bale pictured against West Ham

FA launch investigation while West Ham ready to ban fans for life amid allegations of 'hissing' and 'Hitler' chants at Tottenham

The Football Association have begun an investigation into allegations of anti-Semitic abuse by West Ham fans during Sunday's Premier League match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Brutal attack on Tottenham fans raises fears of rising right-wing and racist violence in Italy

Italy’s capital has been rattled by increasing militancy by the extreme right since October, often with racist overtones.

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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
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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