News Pope John Paul II in 1995

Relic is considered to be of great religious significance

Review: The Breath of Night, By Michael Arditti

Murder, mystery and Marcos all feature as Michael Arditti's gumshoe confronts dilemmas of faith, corruption, oh, and Imelda's footwear

The website: Historic Britain allows you to book B&Bs, hotels and holiday lets with notable character. Properties range from a 15th-century manor house B&B to an 18th-century Cotswold farmhouse (historicbritain.com).

Tips and deals of the week: Historic Britain; Aurora Reykjavik; Four Seasons Lion Palace in St Petersburg

The website: Historic Britain allows you to book B&Bs, hotels and holiday lets with notable character. Properties range from a 15th-century manor house B&B to an 18th-century Cotswold farmhouse (historicbritain.com).

A photo of the late Pope John Paul II hanging from a stage set up near St Peter's Square in Rome

Pope John Paul II to become saint in fastest canonisation in modern times

Pope Francis confirms his predecessor's 'second miracle' - marking fastest progression to sainthood in modern times

John Paul II’s canonisation is likely to be on 20 October

Former pope, John Paul II, close to being declared a saint

His canonisation is likely to be on 20 October, just after the 35th anniversary of his election

Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Eric Kofi Abrefa star in James Baldwin’s ‘The Amen Corner’

Theatre review: The Amen Corner, Olivier, National Theatre, London

In the English theatre, you can go for years without bumping into either of the two best-known plays by James Baldwin, the African-American essayist, novelist and eloquent spokesman for the Civil Rights movement.

Leicester's captain, the fly-half Toby Flood

Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints: Leicester out to prove they are still the local authority in derby final

Emotionally charged Saints will need to be at their best to beat the Tigers this afternoon

Pope creates hundreds of new saints, including canonising 800 Otranto martyrs

Pope Francis created hundreds of new saints in a ceremony at the Vatican today.

‘Miracle’ could see John Paul II canonised in record time

Pope John Paul II could be canonised by October, eight years after his death, according to Vatican sources quoted in the Italian press that say the additional miracle required for his next step towards sainthood has already been identified.

The Sketch: Mrs Speaker may not like it, but the Tories certainly did

It’s not exactly WH Auden’s famous “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone/Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone/Silence the pianos and with muffled drum/Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come…” But Speaker John Bercow’s gesture to the memory of Lady Thatcher comes pretty close: silencing Big Ben for the duration of her funeral tomorrow.

Round-Up: Blake Green crushes Robins to keep Wigan on top

Wigan ensured that they would finish the Easter programme on top of Super League with an overwhelming 84-6 victory at Hull KR yesterday.

African Odyssey: a horticultural tour of Marrakesh

Ancient royal palaces, fountained courtyards – and the splendour of Yves Saint Laurent's former home: Emma Townshend finds herself swept away by the majesty of Marrakesh's horticultural panorama

The potential saint-in-the-making, Carlos de Dios Murias, a left-leaning priest, was taken away by the military in the Argentine province of La Rioja in 1976

Young Franciscan monk killed by the military during Argentina's Dirty War could become first beatified person under Pope Francis' reign

A young Franciscan monk, who was kidnapped and killed by the military during Argentina’s dirty war of the late 1970s, could be the first person beatified under the reign of Pope Francis, it emerged today.

Pope Francis: the response from Argentina's press

An hour or so after white smoke first poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine chapel, Jorge Mario Bergoglio emerged in white papal robes on to the balcony of St Peter's to announce his election as Pope Francis. Those who had hoped for a leader of the Catholic church who would reflect the faith's growth outside of Europe got their wish - and celebrations continued into the night across Latin America. Here's a selection of the press response from Argentina this morning:

The ashes of priceless manuscripts, some of them up to 700 years old, burned by Jihadis in Mali’s fabled Timbuktu

'They tried to break the heart of Timbuktu': Mali comes to terms with the destruction of historic manuscripts by Islamists

Mali’s most storied city is in the final hours of its occupation by Jihadists who faced international condemnation and a powerful foreign expeditionary force closing in by land and air.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there