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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.

China says only socialism can "save" Tibet

The new Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet said today that only socialism can "save" the remote region and guarantee its development, and lampooned the Dalai Lama's indecision on his succession.

China appoints Panchen Lama in tactical move to quell unrest

Young monk will take increasingly political role in country's highest legal body

Adrian Hamilton: Spiritual leader deserves full honour

If President Obama intended to make a firm gesture by meeting the exiled Dalai Lama yesterday, it has to be said that it was a very tentative one.

Gere serves up a haven for vegetarians

Actor and Buddhist activist backs campaign to make Indian town a meat-free zone

Lhasa de Sela: Singer-songwriter whose work blended Mexican, French, gospel, gypsy and country influences

A tri-lingual singer, whose startlingly original music earned her a subtanstial cult following, and comparisons with the likes of Tom Waits, Edith Piaf, and Nick Cave, Lhasa de Sela was a true one-off. Blessed with striking looks, a husky contralto and an intense, theatrical stage presence, she mesmerised audiences with her dream-like, tangentially biographical songs.

The Thangmi myth of origins

As told to Dr Mark Turin

Top of the world: The horticultural high life

Anna Pavord heads for the Himalayas in search of the horticultural high life

Dalai Lama angers China with visit to disputed area

Thousands of Buddhist monks in maroon robes joined secular supporters of the Dalai Lama yesterday to welcome the Tibetan spiritual leader as he arrived in the Himalayas for a four-day visit that is testing already strained relations between India and China.

Tibetans executed in Lhasa for protest fires

Two people have been put to death for their roles in protests in Tibet last year, the first known executions for the violence.

Forgotten authors No.37: Lionel Davidson

Oddly, Lionel Davidson is one of those authors who turns up a lot on the racks of second-hand bookshops, in sexy little Penguin editions that fit a pocket.

Dalai Lama visits Taiwan

The Dalai Lama arrived in Taiwan last night to comfort victims of the island's worst storm in 50 years, vowing that his visit would be "purely humanitarian".

Dalai Lama's trip angers China

The Dalai Lama is to risk angering China further by accepting a surprise invitation from the government of Taiwan to take part in a prayer meeting with survivors of this month's typhoon.

Crackdown or conciliation: China's politburo split over response to Uighur violence

The unrest that claimed 184 lives last week has again forced Beijing to question its reaction to calls for regional autonomy

Adrian Hamilton: Why China's President left the G8

The local Uighurs see their identity being swamped by Han Chinese, as in Tibet
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sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
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Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
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A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
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peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
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The illusionist believes hypnotism helped him to deal with the lack of control he felt growing up
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Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible