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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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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
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?