News

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.

Dalai Lama hits out at succession 'meddling'

The Dalai Lama said yesterday that China's Communist leadership can play no role in deciding who succeeds him as the leader of Tibetan Buddhism and called Beijing's meddling in the issue "a disgrace".

Album: Joby Talbot, Tide Harmonic (Signum Classics)

The former Divine Comedian's latest project is an engrossing concept album about water, evoked in its various elemental states across a five-part suite bookended with a brief orchestral torrent supplanted by the resonant ringing of Tibetan temple bowls.

Australian PM shuns meeting with Dalai Lama

The Australian Prime Minister, refused to meet the Dalai Lama during his visit to Parliament House yesterday, but insisted the snub had nothing to do with Chinese pressure to shun the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

Blood & Mistletoe, By Ronald Hutton

The reliable Hutton has produced a vast, enthralling history of a mysterious cult. "The Druids may have been the most prominent magico-religious specialists... and that is all we can say with reasonable certainty. They left no account of their beliefs and practices."

Album: Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 (Capital)

The eighth studio album from the Beastie Boys comes after a long lay-off made even longer by Adam "MCA" Yauch's treatment for cancer.

Nawang Gombu: Mountain guide who became the first man to climb Everest twice

Nawang Gombu Sherpa was the youngest member of the 1953 expedition which made the first ascent of Mount Everest. He later reached the summit himself and subsequently became the first person to climb Everest twice. His entrée to the comparatively lucrative world of high altitude mountaineering was made possible by his uncle, Tenzing Norgay, who reached the summit in 1953 with Edmund Hillary.

Dalai Lama's successor swaps Harvard for the Himalayas

A Harvard academic will make the switch from America's East coast to the foothills of the Himalayas after being elected prime minister of the Tibetan exile community – a role that will see him take over the political duties previously carried out by the Dalai Lama.

Forensics age Tibet’s "disappeared" Panchen Lama

In recent years, the identity of the Panchen Lama has become a source of dispute and political leverage between China and their separatist opposition.

Tibetan exiles begin voting for new political leader to replace Dalai Lama

Tibetans across the world began voting yesterday for a new leader to take up the resistance against Chinese rule over their homeland, as the Tibetan parliament-in-exile debated how to handle the Dalai Lama's resignation from politics.

China: Monk sets himself on fire in protest

A Tibetan monk who set himself on fire in an anti-government protest – and was then beaten and kicked by police – has died.

Peter Popham: He held his people together – but they must move on

The Dalai Lama has exasperated many young Tibetans in recent years by his refusal to yield on non-violence

China insists on role in anointing religious leaders

The Chinese government insisted they should have a say in the anointing of all senior religious figures in Tibetan Buddhism just days before the Dalai Lama announced his plans to step down.

Dalai Lama steps back to push Tibetans forward

Spiritual leader's speech intended to spark drive for democracy

Tibetan leader cleared by inquiry into funds

Indian authorities have cleared the Karmapa, Tibetan Buddhism's third most important leader, in an investigation into how $1.35m (£840,000) in cash made its way to his headquarters in northern India.

My Life In Travel: Colin Thubron, writer

'I've learnt that Britain is extremely peculiar'
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
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Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
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Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
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Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
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Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
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'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
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Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn