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Firefighters rescue stranded seagull

Leading article: A valediction for a tired and tainted Parliament

The next legislature can learn much from the old one's mistakes

The Regions: Northern Ireland

Unionists could emerge as crucial allies for either of the big parties

Ian Paisley to step down

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley will not seek re-election in the forthcoming general election, it was revealed today.

Ghosts, Duchess Theatre, London

Further proof that English theatre is going through a wonderfully positive patch is furnished now with this terrifically compelling and often disarmingly comic account of Ibsen's Ghosts. Not only is actor Iain Glen making a most distinguished debut as a director, but he is turning in a witheringly satiric performance as Pastor Manders, the sanctimonious clerical hypocrite whose real God is not the Lord but his own fearfully guarded personal reputation in a community of small-minded backbiters.

DUP must honour policing commitments, says Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein has fulfilled its obligations in government and now wants unionists to do the same to avoid a political crisis, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said today.

Mo Mowlam lied to Blair about her brain tumour

Minister forced her doctor to keep malignancy secret as she took part in Ulster peace talks

Iris Robinson expelled, but her husband hangs on

Iris Robinson, MP for Strangford and a member of the Stormont assembly, was yesterday expelled from the Democratic Unionist Party after an astonishing sex scandal which has gripped Ulster.

The First Lady, her young lover, and a scandal that could hand power to Sinn Fein

David McKittrick reports on the far-reaching consequences of Iris Robinson’s infidelity

Leading article: The end of the affair

Peter Robinson is being undone by his all-too-colourful wife Iris, whose sexual and financial exploits have combined to detonate Belfast's most spectacular scandal.

Sex, money, and bigotry: meet the Robinsons

Northern Ireland’s formidable First Minister has suddenly been made to look vulnerable by a series of revelations about his private life. By David McKittrick

The Best by Miles, By Miles Kington

Master of satire that still bites

DUP’s secret plot to oust Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley’s abrupt resignation as First Minister came amid secret DUP plotting to ease him out of office, a controversial new book claimed today.

Police 'foil murder bid against Paisley Jnr'

Police have foiled a dissident republican murder bid against Northern Ireland Assembly member Ian Paisley Jnr, he said today.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness: I still keep in touch with Ian Paisley

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister has revealed he still speaks to Ian Paisley — more than a year after the former DUP leader left office.

Security base break-in case collapses

The case against a former chef sought in connection with a break-in at a top security base in Northern Ireland dramatically collapsed today.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk