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Item believed to have been cut from stuffed head in Cork mansion safari room

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

Six people taken hospitalised after stabbings at two properties near Belfast

Two people were seriously hurt and four others injured after they were stabbed in two houses in a town just north of Belfast.

Silviniaco Conti turns tables on Cue Card to restore Nicholls’ King George crown

Another day, another race. Silviniaco Conti, only third behind Cue Card when the pair met in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, took glorious revenge yesterday in the second of the domestic season’s four top-level staying chases, the King George VI Chase at Kempton. And the seven-year-old’s three-and-a-half-length defeat of his rival has sent him to the head of the market for the third, and most important, the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself.

James Gray enjoys lunch at The Holiday Inn in Sutton with Marian and John Cunningham

Come dine with me: Couple respond to pensioner James Gray's newspaper advert for company on Christmas Day

Irish couple were among thousands of people around the world who were touched by James’s story

Last Thursday Jamie Reynolds, 23, was sentenced to life in prison for Georgia's (pictured) murder

Georgia Williams murder case: Vicar calls for ban on violent online pornography

The Government must “take more responsibility” in stopping violent online pornography, the vicar from the town of the murdered teenager Georgia Williams has said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was no worse than Oliver Cromwell

The Russian President made the comments at a press conference after he was asked about a monument to Stalin being put up in Moscow

Dixons posts first profit in six years following rival Comet exit

Dixons, owner of PC World and Currys, has returned to a profit after six years, as it continues to feel the benefits of rival Comet’s demise.

Market Report: Traders bet US Fed will keep the taps turned on into the  new year

A two-day meeting kicks off today at the US Federal Reserve to decide whether to bring to an end to the quantitative easing sooner rather than later.

Enda Kenny thanks Ireland as country exits its bailout programme

Ireland set to return to the money markets as the first euro zone nation to have completed a strict bailout programme

Harlequins’ Charlie Walker breaks a tackle to score a try against Racing Metro

Heineken Cup round-up: 'Harlequins can complete great fightback,' says Director of Rugby Connor O'Shea

Conor O’Shea believes Harlequins can clinch a remarkable comeback and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup after earning their second successive victory over big-spending Racing Metro.

Unemployed told to leave Ireland in desperate move to slash welfare costs

Ireland is asking its citizens to leave the country if they can't find a job in a desperate bid to slash welfare costs.

Australia captain Michael Clarke has been named the player and test cricketer of the year by the ICC

Australia captain Michael Clarke named ICC player of the year

Clarke also bags the test cricketer of the year award on the day he plays his 100th Test for his country

RSA shares crash as chief executive Simon Lee quits after third profit warning

Insurance giant warns its dividend could be cut again and its shares plummet

Horsemeat report calls for food police force

The UK needs to set up a specialist food crime unit following the horsemeat scandal, a Government-commissioned report has recommended.

South African prop CJ van der Linde has joined London Irish after their takeover by a London-based Irish consortium was completed

London Irish confirm takeover as well as signing of South African prop CJ van der Linde

A consortium of London-based Irish businessman have taken over the Aviva Premiership club

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz