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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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Day In a Page

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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
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Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
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This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
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'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
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Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
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She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
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Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering