News The Prime Minister's authority was challenged by his own backbenchers as they demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

More than 80 backbenchers had demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

Former US diplomat Richard Haass and co-chair Meghan O'Sullivan speak at the Stormont hotel in Belfast. Overnight talks failed to find agreement on any of three topics

Disappointment as Northern Irish deal eludes parties

“This process is not dead, but it is far from finished,” says American diplomat chairing talks

The News Matrix: Monday 30 December 2013

Firefighters rescue stranded seagull

MPs’ expenses higher than before scandal

The bill for MPs’ expenses rose by more than 7 per cent last year to £98m, according to new figures.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Listen children, the world really was created in seven days

A question thrown up while MPs were arguing over gay marriage is whether fundamentalist Christian teachers should have a legal right to propagate creationism in the classroom. This cropped up while opponents of gay marriage were fighting a rearguard action to ensure that any religious group or individual with a religious objection to gay marriage was protected from anti-discrimination law.

Plastic bullets used to tackle Union Flag rioters after fresh wave of protests

Belfast City Council could face legal action over its decision to restrict the flying of the flag

'My heart is breaking for Northern Ireland': MP makes emotional plea for peace as police warn they are 'stretched to the limit'

Development follows attempt on the life of a policewoman in Belfast

Northern Ireland MP former aide David McConaghie arrested over toilet camera

A former adviser to Northern Ireland MP David Simpson has been arrested after a camera was found in the toilets of his constituency office, Democratic Unionist Party sources confirmed.

National Trust in Giant's Causeway creationism row

The National Trust has defended its decision to include references to creationist theory at a new state-of-the-art visitors' centre at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Former Belfast First Minister, Ian Paisley, in intensive care

Paisley in intensive care following heart attack

Lord Bannside, better known as the Rev Ian Paisley, is in intensive care in Belfast with heart problems. Aged 85, he has been prominent in Northern Ireland politics for more than half a century.

The Rev Ian Paisley joins a protest in Edinburgh against the Pope's visit

Heart concerns for Rev Ian Paisley

The Rev Ian Paisley is in intensive care tonight after suffering from acute heart problems.

Second man held over Pc murder

Detectives investigating the murder of a Catholic policeman in Northern Ireland arrested a second man today.

Ian Paisley Jr: 'I've always been proud of dad – and proud to bear his name'

His father transformed Irish politics, and now Ian Paisley Jr is making his mark at Westminster. David McKittrick meets him

Brown sets timetable for his departure – and puts Labour back in the game

Gordon Brown paved the way for a possible coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats by announcing his resignation yesterday in an attempt to derail a partnership deal between Nick Clegg and David Cameron.

Brown battles to cling on to power

A struggle for power broke out today as Britain voted for a hung parliament with the Conservatives as the largest party but Labour refusing to hand over the keys to Downing Street.

Stormont's First Minister Peter Robinson unseated after year of scandal

A huge upset in Northern Ireland saw the unexpected defeat of Peter Robinson, who is both First Minister and leader of the Democratic Unionist party.

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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...