Arts and Entertainment

A light-hearted play about Christianity written almost 20 years ago is at the centre of an “astonishing” censorship row after performances were cancelled by councillors in Northern Ireland who deemed it “blasphemous”.

Erecting sectarian and paramilitary flags 'not criminal but wrong' says Norther Ireland's top police officer

Erecting flags may not always be a criminal offence but it is wrong, Northern Ireland's most senior police officer has said.

Members of the pro-choice movement group protest outside Leinster House in Dublin ahead of the abortion legislation vote

Protests and bitter disputes mount as Ireland prepares to vote on enshrining abortion legislation that will allow 'if life at risk'

Most contentious clause will allow mother-to-be to to seek termination on grounds she is suicidal

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been deeply offended by Forbes Magazine placing him 26th on its rich list

Andy McSmith's Diary: Only $20bn? I’m worth a princely sum more than that

The rich can have different sensibilities from the rest of us. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a relative of the King of Saudi Arabia and reputedly the world’s richest Arab, has been deeply offended by Forbes Magazine placing him 26th on its rich list, with an estimated wealth of $20 billion.

A forensics officer outside Newry courthouse after a car bomb attack in February 2010 that was blamed on dissident republicans

Threat of terrorism in Northern Ireland ‘will last for years'

Theresa Villiers says dissident republican groups will continue to plan attacks

The result is seen as a personal victory for Ann Travers

Sinn Fein fails to stop new law on special advisers that blocks those convicted of serious offences

Sinn Fein suffered a setback in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Monday night when if failed to block new legislation barring those with a serious conviction from working as special political advisers.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Listen children, the world really was created in seven days

A question thrown up while MPs were arguing over gay marriage is whether fundamentalist Christian teachers should have a legal right to propagate creationism in the classroom. This cropped up while opponents of gay marriage were fighting a rearguard action to ensure that any religious group or individual with a religious objection to gay marriage was protected from anti-discrimination law.

There will be no change in the Irish abortion law, says Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has attempted to quell fallout over contentious changes to abortion rules by claiming that law on the procedure is not being changed.

Liam Adams, brother of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, arrives at Belfast Laganside Court, where he faces child sex abuse charges.

Gerry Adams gives evidence at brother Liam's trial for child sex abuse

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams gave evidence in a Belfast court today at the trial of his brother Liam, who is accused of child sex abuse.

Alan Protheroe: Combative BBC executive who clashed with the Thatcher Government

Even taking into account the BBC's more recent traumas, the 1980s were the most turbulent decade in its history. Alan Protheroe played a central and often controversial role in the Corporation's bitter battles with Mrs.Thatcher's Government. With hindsight, it can be argued that the BBC suffered long-term damage because of his stubborn failure – along with that of senior colleagues – to recognise and allow for the increasing assertiveness of the politically appointed board of governors, reflecting a fundamental shift in the rules of engagement between Westminster and Broadcasting House.

Father Alec Reid;

Father Alec Reid reveals how he tried to save two British soldiers killed in one of the most shocking episodes of the Troubles

Priest reveals how he tried to save two undercover British soldiers discovered at a Belfast funeral in 1988.

Sinn Fein's Francie Molloy wins Martin McGuinness' Westminster seat in Mid Ulster by-election

Sinn Fein veteran Francie Molloy insisted his party colleague Martin McGuinness would be a hard act to follow after winning the Westminster seat vacated by Stormont's deputy First Minister.

Mid-Ulster by-election: campaign eerily quiet as IRA murder victim's son faces alleged killer in polls

Most assumed it would be a by-election as bitter as any seen in Northern Ireland, not least because one candidate has been accused of involvement in the murder of the father of another.

Marina Gambold (left) and Maureen Sullivan (centre) of Madalene Survivors Together leaving Leinster House in Dublin after hearing Taoiseach Enda Kenny's state apology

Irish PM's emotional apology for state's role in Magdalene laundries

The Irish prime minister has issued a formal apology on behalf of the Irish state to the survivors of workhouses known as the Magdalene laundries.

Francie Molloy denies being involved in the killing of the father of Nigel Lutton (pictured)

IRA murder victim's son to face alleged killer in election

It will be an election with an extraordinary subplot, where one candidate has been publicly accused of killing the father of the other.

Irish government apologises to thousands of 'fallen women' it sent to so-called Magdalene laundries

It is estimated that over 10,000 women passed through the laundries between 1922 and 1996

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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 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future