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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.

Haute cuisine: the Piacere restaurant has elevated views

Room Service: Shangri-La Tokyo, Japan

Lost horizon at the top of a tower

Waiter who streaked alongside Olympic Torch relay denies indecency claiming his naked body inspired 'hilarity not distress'

A waiter who streaked alongside the Olympic Torch was merely inspiring “hilarity not distress” when he joined the relay wearing nothing but trainers, his lawyer insisted today.

St John’s Night, Jermyn Street Theatre, London

Jermyn Street Theatre is partial to rummaging for rarities in the back catalogue of great dramatists. Well, they don’t come much rarer than this – the UK premiere, no less, of St John’s Night which  Ibsen wrote at the tender age of 23 and later tried to disown.

Dalai Lama takes Salmond's 'snub' in his stride during visit to Scotland

The Dalai Lama yesterday insisted he was not offended by Alex Salmond's apparent decision to "snub" his visit to Scotland – saying he was only interested in spreading a message of harmony.

'Serve humanity', urges Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama has urged religious people to work for the good of humanity and care for the environment in an address at Westminster Abbey.

Archie Bland: It feels like we are missing some British heroes

With such monumental figures as Aung Sun Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama in town – along with Nelson Mandela, the boilerplate inspirations of a thousand insipid celebrity Q&As over the years – it'd be easy to leaf through recent British history and wonder, with regret, where our own legends are. The heroes we do have are, with the possible exception of Winston Churchill, hated by as many people as love them. Not even Margaret Thatcher's greatest admirers could call her a unifying force.

Dalai Lama takes to the stage – with Russell Brand

The Dalai Lama was joined by outspoken comedian Russell Brand as he addressed thousands of young people at the Manchester Arena yesterday.

Dalai Lama dismisses Chinese threat over Olympic camp exit

The Dalai Lama today brushed aside a reported threat by China to withdraw their Olympic athletes from a training camp in response to a planned speech as "almost routine".

Dalai Lama begins UK tour

The Dalai Lama will begin a national tour of the UK today which will include an appearance alongside comedian Russell Brand.

China threatens Leeds Olympic base pull-out over Dalai Lama visit

Chinese officials have threatened to pull the country's Olympic athletes out of their training camp in Leeds due to a scheduled visit by the Dalai Lama to the city, it was reported today.

Russell Brand and Dalai Lama to share stage

Comedian Russell Brand is to share a stage with Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Tibetan protester Jamphel Yeshi set himself on fire in New Delhi ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India earlier this year

China cracks down after Tibetan self-immolations

The 33-year-old who died at the sceneis the 35th Tibetan to immolate since March last year

Tibetan mother dies in fire protest

A Tibetan mother of three has died in the latest in a recent wave of self-immolations to protest against Chinese rule, according to reports.

Pair burn themselves as fiery protest reaches Tibet

One man died and the other was taken to hospital after they set themselves on fire yesterday outside the Jokhang Temple, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

73-year-old Japanese woman scales Mount Everest

A 73-year-old Japanese woman climbed to Mount Everest's peak today, smashing her own record to again become the oldest woman to scale the world's highest mountain.

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Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager
Isis in Iraq: Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants

Isis takes a big step back

Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants
Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits: How to shop politically

How to shop politically

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits
The science of sex: What happens when science meets erotica

Sex on the brain

Fetishes, dominatrixes, kinks and erotica. They are subjects that should get the crowds flocking to a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection