Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely is visiting professor in Public Ethics at the University of Chester and a senior research fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester. He writes on ethical, political and cultural issues. He has a fortnightly column in the Independent on Sunday and also writes for the New York Times and the Church Times. His latest book is Pope Francis – Untying the Knots. He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa and has chaired several development charities.

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Benedict XVI appears at the main balcony of St Peter’s Basilica after being elected the 265th pope on 19 April 2005

Legacy of the German shepherd: Benedict XVI turned out to be a pope of surprises – a tradition he maintained with his shock decision to resign

Greatest weakness may have been loyalty to the church’s old clandestine self-protective culture

Neglected: A memorial to Stafford hospital patients

Don't blame me. I'm only the boss

No one will be punished for the deaths at Stafford – it was the fault of 'the culture'. And those in charge at the time have been... promoted

Comic timing: 'I started out as father of the event, and now I feel like the grandfather,' says Curtis

Richard Curtis: Twenty-five years of laughing in the face of tragedy

The creator of Comic Relief hopes that in another quarter of a century it may not be necessary. Until then, it's red noses all round. Paul Vallely meets Richard Curtis

Centre forward: David Beckham enjoys the limelight – and does good out of sight

Paradox player who is modestly vain

David Beckham's move to France is the latest of his self-promoting gestures. Or is it the engaging act of a thoroughly nice guy?

Political tinkering is the enemy of education

'For a self-styled visionary Mr Gove demonstrates a paucity of imagination

A mother holding her child and a French soldier stand in front of charred pickup trucks used by Islamist rebels in Diabaly

Police move in to guard safe haven for 66 rescued child soldiers in Central African Republic (CAR)

The Independent's campaign has raised over £225,000. But as the latest news makes clear, the problems facing children in the CAR have not gone away

Under orders: French soldiers being instructed at their Malian air base last week

Don't go to war over a band of zealots

Alarming as the hostage crisis in Algeria is, memories of Iraq teach us that this is no reason to make an already volatile area more unstable

Smokescreen: Jimmy Savile hid his actions beneath a veneer of benign eccentricity

Savile's escape has put our public institutions on trial

From his own relatives to BBC executives and charities, those who could have stopped the abuse had incentives not to ask questions

The case for an independent Falklands

In 30 years' time, a Spanish-speaking president may be in the White House
‘Hope’ was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army but returned to her mother with the help of Unicef

Where there’s hope – life after terror

Returning former child soldiers to their families is only the beginning of a long process of psychological reintegration.

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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London