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

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?

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

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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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker