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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

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Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
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How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
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Wiggins worried

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Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

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From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

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Bradley Cooper is terrific