Big Ben strikes in the new year on January 1st in London – or is it? Photograph: Getty Images

Do you know what time it is? Not approximately, but exactly what time it is? Timing for the first dong of the new year will ultimately come from super(...)

“The church is facilitated in presenting itself today as a religious organisation, tomorrow as a state – a handy arrangement, given some of its more sordid entanglements.” Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, yesterday. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

It was the post office in the Vatican that earned the Holy See its first stamp of approval as a sovereign state. This explains why Vatican stamps are (...)