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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.

Five-year-old boy in hospital after being attacked in school playground by dog brought in as end of term treat

The attack took place in the playground at Carniny Primary in Ballymena at around 9am on Friday

national puppetry archive

Violet Philpott: Puppeteer who brought Zippy to life in 'Rainbow'

Zippy, the yellowish-brown glove puppet who was loud and sought to be the centre of attention in Rainbow, gained a cult status that went beyond the pre-school children's programme's 25-year history.

Fourteen police officers injured in Belfast during continuing rioting

Rioting broke out across Belfast last night after hundreds of loyalists took to the streets in continuing unrest caused by the use of the Union flag.

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.

Secret agent Raymond Gilmour who infiltrated IRA to become supergrass accuses MI5 of abandoning him to a life of mental anguish

A one-time police agent who passed on information about the IRA has surfaced in England with claims that MI5 have left him destitute and failed to protect him against republicans.

Giles Fraser: The cross is a symbol of cruelty, not a club badge

How did an instrument of Roman torture end up becoming a club badge for pious Christians? The cross was supposed to inspire terror, and those crucified made into a public spectacle of Roman imperial power. Crucifixion sent a message: we, the Romans, are in control. Defy us and die a horrible death.

The Rev Ian Paisley remains in intensive care

The Rev Ian Paisley remained seriously ill in hospital tonight as his family maintained a vigil at his bedside.

Martin McGuinness: Pope may visit Ireland in 2012

The Pope could visit Ireland by 2012, Martin McGuinness said today.

Ian Paisley shows that Rome's enemies aren't all secular

Pope Benedict's determination to confront Britain's "aggressive secularism" was put to an early test yesterday – but the anti-religious forces which gathered to greet him on the streets of Edinburgh were quite a jolly lot even if their message was a deadly serious one.

Blair pelted with shoes and eggs at book signing

Shoes and eggs were pelted at Tony Blair today as he attended his first book signing in the Irish Republic.

Inside Politics - Blair Quiz Answers

1 The Freedom of Information Act

Andy McSmith: Blair's book reads less like a memoir, more like a long memo to his staff

Compared with these extracts, the memoir by Peter Mandelson is downright racy

Finally Tony Blair reveals his side of the feud with Gordon Brown

Tony Blair has described Gordon Brown as "maddening" and "difficult" when he was his Chancellor but has defended his decision not to sack him or try to stop him becoming Prime Minister.

Paisley's son fights claims he has sold out

David McKittrick reports on Ian Paisley Jnr's attempts to inherit his father's North Antrim constituency
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas