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Sorry – financial freedom for pensioners is a bad idea

Allowing me the freedom to take my pension as a lump sum on retirement will, likely as not, mean tha...

That hung parliament scenario in full

I am grateful to Tom for asking a question that I couldn’t immediately answer. Actually, he merely p...

Ed Balls rehearses Ed Miliband’s lines for the Budget reply

Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, was on Pienaar’s Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live. It was interes...

Greed is God: The Genesis of the Christian share index

They have no links to gambling, pornography or birth control (but pollution is OK). Jerome Taylor on a new portfolio of companies aimed at religious investors

Church warned not to breach abusive priests' human rights

The Vatican's fight-back against a lawsuit that names the Pope as a defendant in a sexual abuse scandal was mired yesterday by further revelations of abuse and controversial comments from a senior Catholic cleric defending the church's history of sheltering abusive priests.

Heaven: A fool's paradise

Why do the majority of Britons still believe in life after death? Heaven isn't a wonderful place filled with light – it is a pernicious construct with a short and bloody history, writes Johann Hari

Holocaust denial costs bishop £10,000

Controversial cleric claimed Nazis did not kill Jews in gas chambers

Pope ventures out of Rome – but victims of church abuse lie in wait

If Benedict XVI thought Malta would provide a gentle reintroduction to touring, he's wrong, says Michael Day

'They do quiz nights and dating. Why not a debate about Jesus?'

"The pub is like the modern-day confession box," says Martin Kadhim, a 30-year-old business manager from Devon. "Say I've got a problem, I'm having a hard time at work, I've got someone pregnant – I'll come to the pub, see my mates and talk about it. If there happened to be a vicar there, it might offer a fresh perspective."

Pope Benedict XVI: The apologist

He was supposed to be a safe pair of hands. But five years into the job, Joseph Ratzinger is caught in an unprecedented papal storm

Preacher likens treatment of Pope to the Holocaust

Benedict XVI's personal priest says targeting of pontiff over child abuse is like violence inflicted on Jews

Miracle under scrutiny in John Paul beatification

The Vatican this week marks the fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death amid some doubts that the miracle needed for his saint-making cause will stand up to scrutiny and questions about his record combatting pedophile priests.

Pope condemns critics over abuse scandal 'gossip'

Pope Benedict launches broadside against critics who have called on him to do more to explain his previous role as the Vatican’s head investigator of child abuse claims.

Nurse to go to tribunal in row over cross

A Christian nurse re-assigned to an office role after refusing to take off a necklace bearing a cross will take her case to an employment tribunal next week, a hospital said today.

Bishops claim bias against Christians

Senior bishops today claimed Christians in Britain are being "treated with disrespect" while followers of other faiths are dealt with more sensitively.

The priest who abused deaf boys for 24 years

Fr Murphy was the only adult his pupils could communicate with – and he betrayed them. Andy McSmith reports

Vatican goes into battle for Benedict as sexual abuse crisis deepens

Spokesman says Pope knew nothing about reassigning paedophile priest
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Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...