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Firefighters rescue stranded seagull

Paisley is shrinking and so is his support

Vote for Europe

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.

Hurdles to Overcome

ONE REASON Tony Blair and almost everyone is anxious to resolve the issues of arms decommissioning and forming a new executive in the course of this week is that Northern Ireland faces a daunting timetable over the next few months.

Ulster: Arms issue is all that can stop a startling revolution

TONY BLAIR and others involved have designed this week to be a make-or-break one for Northern Ireland, a potentially momentous negotiating session designed to resolve the decommissioning issue and break through into a new political dispensation.

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'

Faith & Reason: Ian Paisley and other sacred cows

The difference between a cult and a proper religion lies in the ability to found proper universities - which is why modern faith communities are not producing any

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 party splinters

A MINOR Unionist party broke up in Belfast yesterday, giving another sign of the volatile state of Unionism.

The truths that no Christmas card company would dare touch

A pregnant teenager and a family of asylum-seekers are the characters of the carols

Last time round, peace seemed a hopeless cause

YESTERDAY'S ceremony did not mark the first time that the Nobel peace prize has been awarded to those who have tried to end the violence in Ulster.

Morgan snubs Millbank plea to quit race

Labour dilemmas: Party must determine selection procedures for Welsh leader and London mayor

Omagh Bombing: Words Of Condemnation

"It is impossible to contemplate, to get in the mind of anyone who could do this ... We will not let these people wreck the future. "

Unionist split ensures rocky road ahead

David McKittrick reports on the serious obstacles to the smooth working of the new Northern Ireland assembly
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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
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Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape