Andy McSmith's Diary: A shocking glimpse of what it took to win peace

Today being the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement which brought peace to Northern Ireland, it seems as good excuse to revive anecdotes about the slightly made Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, who did so much to make it possible while slowly dying of a malignant brain tumour.

Terence Blacker: Elizabethans we would rather forget about

The first Elizabethans had Shakespeare, we had Harold Pinter; they had Sir Walter Raleigh, we have Fred Goodwin; they had Francis Drake, we have Simon Cowell

Pyjama photo forces Netanyahu into U-turn on Gaza flotilla inquiry

Israel is expected to broaden the powers of an internal inquiry into the botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May in the wake of a barrage of claims that its investigation lacks any credibility. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, appeared to cave in to domestic pressure after the committee was mocked in the Israeli media as a whitewash designed to defend the assault on 31 May that resulted in the death of nine Turkish nationals. A photograph of one 93-year-old panellist in his pyjamas looking at documents drew particular derision.

Peter Robinson: You’re on your own now and it’s going to be a difficult journey

There can be no doubt that the formidable Peter and Iris Robinson double act is finished in political terms.

Conference Diary: Do as I say...

"If I'm appointed Justice Secretary in the next Conservative administration I will end Jack Straw's serial selective and cynical trailing of government policy in the media," the shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve pledged yesterday... in a speech selectively trailed by his personal spin doctor the night before it was delivered.

How pride is overcoming prejudice in Belfast

From the school you attend to the team you support – in Belfast, life is still divided along sectarian lines. But not for everyone... On the city's gay scene, Anna Leach discovers how pride is overcoming prejudice

Twelve good folk and true... or Brown's dirty dozen?

The unionists and maverick MPs who swung the vote on 42-day terror detention Labour's way

Bertie Ahern: The teflon Taoiseach who came unstuck

Bertie Ahern was untouched by the sort of scandal that has traditionally dogged Irish politics. But his mysterious financial affairs caught up with him when his secretary was forced into the spotlight. By David McKittrick

Mark Ramprakash: What I've Learnt This Week

1. A trip to Ireland to face a bogey side can bring 15 unusual minutes of fame

David McKittrick: There may soon be only one Unionist party

Paisley's party will probably be the only Unionist show in town, with devolution dependent on its assent
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all