China is struggling to get its estimated 100 million religious believers to banish superstitious beliefs about things like sickness and death, the country's top religious affairs official told a state-run newspaper.
The two sides meet in a relegation battle at Loftus Road this weekend
There are some lovely things in it, and there's one riotous surge of profane comic energy, but a faint sense of disappointment lingers over this much-anticipated reunion of director Tom Morris and South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, the team that conquered the world with the wondrous War Horse.
The exam beard oozes intellectual machismo and is a great soother in times of stress
Long before Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe set foot on a tennis court, Art “Tappy” Larsen created the mould for fiery and successful American left-handers.
Four centuries after the infamous witch trials of 1612, artist Joe Hesketh is a modern day Halloween witch from Pendle. Matilda Battersby meets her
At a rally against same-sex marriage in Birmingham yesterday, the former Archbishop of Canterbury proved himself to be spectacularly oblivious to irony
Choose stocks avoiding the number 13 and using rules based on cycles of the moon
The week in culture
Lady Gaga only recently "actually enjoyed sex".
They reckon a week is a long time in politics: try seven days at a football club. I'm still struggling to work out how we could be so superb against Tottenham – a game we won 3-1 – and then get tubbed by Wolves a few days later.
Hundreds of villagers flocked to a wedding ceremony yesterday between a 16-foot female python and her slightly smaller mate – both believed to be magic snakes that bring prosperity and peace.
Right. So. Last night's television. No, not the election coverage – you'll find that in news. The other stuff: the soft stuff, you know. I've spent the past three weeks writing reviews of programmes that hardly anyone watched (clashing as they did with the election debates and then, last week, one debate and two football semi-finals). And now I'm reviewing stuff that virtually no one watched. Still, you were one of the select few that did, congratulations: far better to cast your ballot, go to bed at a sensible hour, and remain blissfully unaware of one's fate until the morning. Or, depending on how hung things turn out to be, in a few mornings' time. Either way, with matters of state on one's mind, what one needs is some light relief, isn't it? Or, even better, an escape plan just in case someone you really can't bear winds up at No 10. In which case, I'd suggest Hong Kong. It looked great in last night's episode of Greatest Cities of the World.
The play hasn't started and you're already saying, with Marlowe's Mephistopheles, "Why this is hell, nor am I out of it." The smoke is billowing, the bells are tolling, the bagpipes are wailing and, down below in the pit, the heads of the groundlings are peeking through a black tarpaulin like the lost souls on Judgment Day.
For those of you who think May Day is a distress signal, May 1st is a marvellously hotchpotch day of festivities which combines traditions and superstitions from Paganism, Gaelic, Christianity and even chimney sweeps.
In the week that the death toll in Afghanistan surpassed the 255 fatalities in the Falklands, Terri Judd tells the story of two teenagers whose sacrifice belied their youth