News Pope John Paul II in 1995

Relic is considered to be of great religious significance

Childcare reforms must be seen, not just heard

So now nursery carers will be able to look after more children, which means more nursery places, and more overwhelmed teachers

Helicopters return from Timbuktu

Ground forces backed by French paratroopers in Mali prepare to capture Timbuktu after taking control of airports and roads

Fall of Timbuktu will mark the end of an initial, lightning advance by French and Malian forces into territory overrun by Islamists

Complacent Arsenal drift a long way off glory trail

Modern footballers tend to behave themselves on New Year's Eve so Arsenal did not even have the excuse of a hangover for a disjointed, insipid display at St Mary's yesterday which left them four points adrift of the Champions League places and raised further doubts about their chances of winning a trophy any time soon.

The end of the world...again? Authorities on alert after cult leader paedophile Warren Jeffs warns 10,000 followers to prepare for New Year's Eve apocalypse

Experts warn Jeffs' message could send a 'dangerous signal' to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis eyes Fulham scalp

Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis believes the trip to Fulham on Boxing Day is the first of a number of winnable fixtures coming up for the south coast club.

Nuns hold images of Kateri Tekakwitha, who died serving the church in Quebec in Canada, as they wait for the start of a canonisation ceremony celebrated by the Pope at the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square

Saint Lily of the Mohawks: Pope canonises first Native American

Tribe hails ascension of 17th-century Kateri Tekakwitha as a gesture of reconciliation

Church 'will not negotiate' with Vatican rebels

The Vatican has no plans to hold more talks with rebel Catholic traditionalists who insist the church must revoke the modernising reforms it adopted five decades ago, Pope Benedict's main doctrinal official has told a German interviewer.

André Fabre said of Meandre, 'I always thought he would make a very nice four-year-old'

Fabre maps out proven route to Arc for Meandre

When a man who has won Europe's top middle-distance contest a record seven times starts to make plans for the race, notice should be taken. André Fabre yesterday nominated the three-time Group 1 winner Meandre as his top candidate for this year's Arc, with a well-trodden route to Longchamp on 7 October mapped out.

Nathaniel Clyne

Southampton seal Nathaniel Clyne transfer from Crystal Palace

Southampton have completed the signing of defender Nathaniel Clyne from Crystal Palace for an undisclosed fee.

Militants 'destroy tombs in Timbuktu'

Despite international condemnation, the radical Islamic faction controlling the northern Malian outpost of Timbuktu continued destroying the city's ancient tombs today, laying waste to the city's five-hundred-year-old heritage.

Jon Wilkin is expected to return for St Helens against Wigan

Wane hopes Saints will wilt under pressure in cup derby

The Wigan coach, Shaun Wane, said that St Helens will go into today's Challenge Cup quarter-final at the DW Stadium "underdone".

The preserved heart of St Laurence O'Toole was taken from Saint Lauds Chapel

Dublin patron saint's heart stolen in cathedral raid

Irish police puzzled by latest in series of bizarre thefts of religious artefacts from churches

Invisible Ink: No 106 - Leslie Charteris

The creator of the quintessentially English stiff-upper-lipped hero, The Saint, was half-Chinese, born in Singapore in 1907.

Picture of the Day: Sorry Rudolph, we're taking the gondola...

Rowers dressed as Father Christmas escort a gondola ferrying a live nativity scene from St Mark's Basilica to the island of San Giorgio in Venice yesterday.

McCoist insists he has no fears about being able to raise his players for next week's Old Firm game despite their dreadful preparation for the clash against Celtic

Rangers players will be ready for Old Firm game, says McCoist

Rangers manager Ally McCoist insists he has no fears about being able to raise his players for next week's Old Firm game despite their dreadful preparation for the clash against Celtic.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected