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A fire that raged for nearly 10 hours today razed an ancient Tibetan town in southwest China that's popular with tourists, burning down hundreds of buildings as fire engines were unable to get onto the narrow streets, state media and witnesses said.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Uma Thurman got off lightly. Her brothers are called Ganden, Dechen and Mipam'

Who knew that Uma Thurman's father was the first Westerner ever to become a Buddhist monk? He popularised the faith in the US long before Richard Gere leapt aboard the saffron bandwagon.

Tibetan writer and activist Tsering Woeser waves from the balcony of her home in Beijing

Tibetan poet blocked from receiving award

Beijing has prevented a Tibetan poet, Tsering Woeser, from travelling to the US to pick up an international women’s award by refusing to issue her a passport.

The Dalai Lama is the honorary president of fans' group Friends of Bradford City

Is the Dalai Lama behind Bradford's incredible Capital One Cup run?

Dalai Lama sends letter of support ahead of Wembley final against Swansea

Dalai Lama rumoured to be attending England's final ODI in India

Given his patience and mastery of inner peace, the Dalai Lama has some of the attributes required to be an excellent test cricketer. 

Teenager burns herself to death in Tibet protest

A teenage girl set herself on fire on the grasslands of an ethnic Tibetan region in western China, becoming the eighth child to self-immolate to protest against Chinese rule over the region, rights groups said.

Monk 'linked' to immolations by eight Tibetans

Chinese police have detained a monk and his nephew in Sichuan province and accused them of instigating the self-immolations of eight ethnic Tibetans on the instructions of the Dalai Lama and his followers.

Pope's secret files has been found revealing Vatican scandals

Poll: Is it beneath Pope Benedict XVI to engage with the masses on Twitter?

So His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has signed up for Twitter. Having settled on the snappy handle of @pontifex, the Vatican advised followers to note that tweets shouldn't be regarded as "infallible teachings". But they won't be Instagrammed LOLcats either - the Pope will use the account for live responses to questions about faith during his weekly general audience, starting December 12th.

Elton John dedicates Beijing gig to Ai Weiwei

The singer and dissident artist had met briefly prior to last night's concert

Woman sets herself on fire in Tibetan protest

A Tibetan taxi driver set herself on fire and died in the latest protests against Chinese rule over her homeland, overseas rights groups confirmed yesterday.

Exiled Tibetans protest in Dharamsala, India, on Thursday

Tibet crackdown fear as China protests escalate

Rights groups accused China of tightening security in restive Tibetan areas after a wave of self-immolation protests cast a shadow over the Communist Party congress in Beijing. Despite growing international calls for an independent inquiry, China said it would refuse to allow foreign observers into Tibet to investigate human rights abuses.

Free Tibet: teenage monks and woman in self-immolation protest for congress

Three teenage Tibetan monks and a woman set fire to themselves to protest Chinese rule on the eve of a pivotal Communist Party congress, activists said today.

The Iconic Photographs, By Steve McCurry

Photography

£5,000 rewards offered for self-immolation tip-offs

Police in a heavily Tibetan region of west China are offering to reward people who tip them off about planned self-immolations.

An audience of students at Brown University in Rhode Island, when at the end of a speech on world peace, he appeared to utter some distinctly unholy language.

Pardon your Holiness? Dalai Lama ends speech on World Peace by saying 'F**k it' (according to the stenographer that is...)

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who is considered by his followers to be the very manifestation of the bodhisattva of compassion, isn't known for swearing like an angry docker.

Dharamsala: The new film festival in the Dalai Lama's backyard

A new film festival will showcase the best of recent Indian and world cinema in November.

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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London