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

Pupils protest against McGuinness

PROTESTANT PUPILS from schools across Northern Ireland staged walkouts yesterday in protest at the appointment of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as Education Minister.

NORTHERN IRELAND'S NEW GOVERNMENT: POLITICAL REACTION

"There is a deep suspicion there are no rules in this Assembly to which we can abide, only rules governed by the Secretary of State."

Adams deals blow to peace

A FRESH blow to the hopes of peace in Ulster was delivered last night when Gerry Adams refused to commit his party to rejoining the review of peace talks by the former US senator George Mitchell in September.

COMPETITION: LITERALLY LOST NUMBER 81

This excerpt has been taken from a work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will award pounds 30-worth of book tokens to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Usual competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by this Thursday. Literally lost 80: The book was Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes. The action took place in Cortona, Italy. The winner is Paula Morris of London E11.

Hunt on for eight more IRA victims

POLICE IN the Irish Republic hope to recover eight more bodies this weekend as searches continue for "the disappeared", seven men and a woman abducted and killed by the IRA in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Adams urges fresh talks to save peace

GERRY ADAMS gave the Irish peace process two weeks to achieve a breakthrough last night. The Sinn Fein president said there was an urgent need for the Prime Ministers of Ireland and Britain to hold a fresh round of talks after Tony Blair failed to secure any movement yesterday from David Trimble, First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Ulster accord inches forward

THE APPARENTLY stalled Ulster peace process "inched forward" yesterday when the British and Irish Prime Ministers held crisis talks in Downing Street.

Leading Article: Mr Trimble is right to wade into the marching dispute

ON THE face of it, the decision by David Trimble to involve himself in negotiations to settle this year's round of the Drumcree marching dispute is a blunder. Mr Trimble, the leader of the Ulster Unionist party, is unlikely to come up with a compromise that will satisfy both the nationalist residents of the Garvaghy Road and those Loyalists who want nothing other than the march going ahead the same as it ever did. As Ulster's First Minister designate, Mr Trimble should be a cannier politician than to risk his prestige, given such poor odds of success. Nor should he be allowing himself to be distracted from the far more important job of saving the Good Friday agreement, when talks with John Hume and Gerry Adams resume on Thursday.

The man of peace known as the Reverend Ian Paisley

I'VE BEEN watching the Reverend Ian Paisley for more than 20 years. It has been impossible not to: he is the biggest personality in Northern Ireland and generally the most politically destructive. He has vanquished many opponents and helped bring down many attempted settlements. If ever they gave out a lifetime achievement award for wrecking, it's a fair bet that he would be proudly placing it on his well-appointed east Belfast mantelpiece.

Who is this `doctor' who claims to be a `minister'?

`Cunningham was well known to the Labour Party, but they had no clear idea of what he did'

Trimble accuses IRA of murder

ULSTER UNIONIST party leader David Trimble yesterday accused the mainstream IRA of murdering former republican supergrass Eamon Collins.

Gay sex at 16 vote in Commons

THE HOUSE of Commons was set to vote overwhelmingly yesterday in favour of lowering the age of consent for gay sex from 18 to 16. The debate was seven hours long and, at times, was intensely personal, tackling such subjects as sex, relationships, young love and something called "lifestyle".

Unionist rift exposes Ulster tension

A MINOR Unionist party imploded in Belfast yesterday, giving yet another unmistakable sign that Unionism is in a volatile state, which may have ominous repercussions for the peace process.

Widespread anger - but no surprise

THERE WAS widespread anger last night at the IRA announcement but little surprise among political parties in Ulster and Britain.

Ahern in mission to bolster peace deal

ATTEMPTS TO make progress on the arms decommissioning issue moved up a gear yesterday with the Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, travelling to Belfast for talks with the major political players.
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