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”.

Police vow 'significant arrests' following Belfast officer attacks after Orange Order march

Police chiefs today pledged to make “significant” arrests after officers were attacked with petrol bombs in an outbreak of street violence in the flashpoint Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

Ulster Bank boss Jim Brown waives bonus after IT chaos

Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown said he was turning down this year's annual bonus after a computer meltdown left thousands of customers without access to cash.

National Trust in Giant's Causeway creationism row

The National Trust has defended its decision to include references to creationist theory at a new state-of-the-art visitors' centre at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Martin McGuinness and Queen to shake hands 'in private' during landmark meeting next week

Martin McGuinness will hold a landmark meeting with the Queen when she visits Belfast next week, his Sinn Fein party confirmed today following months of speculation about an formal encounter between royalty and republicans.

Martin McGuinness's efforts to become Irish President have provoked a mixed response among victims of the Troubles

Martin McGuinness to give up Westminster seat

Sinn Fein MP for Mid Ulster Martin McGuinness is to resign his seat, forcing a by-election, as part of a shake-up to end Sinn Fein dual mandates at Westminster.

Enda Kenny casts vote on fiscal treaty

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny was among the early voters today as Ireland has its say on the European fiscal treaty.

A sign for the No campaign in Dublin features German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Ireland's austerity D-Day: How much pain can it take?

After years of savage cuts, the Irish now face a stark choice: do they hand over control of their economy to Europe – or go it alone without the safety net of future bailouts? In Cork, David McKittrick meets the people preparing to vote

Teenage girl shot dead in Northern Ireland village

A teenage girl has been shot dead and her sister seriously injured in a gun attack in a small village in Northern Ireland.

Leading article: François Hollande won heads, but not hearts

France's presidential election was a close-run affair, far closer than the polls had suggested through most of the long and often ill-tempered campaign. So, while François Hollande's victory gives France its first Socialist President for 16 years and makes Nicolas Sarkozy France's first one-term President for more than a generation, it represents something less than the historic turnaround Mr Hollande's supporters rushed to claim. France, like so many European countries, remains finely balanced between left and right. A crisis such as the one that it, and the Continent as a whole, faces, is not resolved by an election; in some ways, an election merely highlights the divisions.

Irish deputy PM Eamon Gilmore adds to pressure on Cardinal Brady

Ireland's deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore added to the pressure on the country's most senior cleric Cardinal Sean Brady today over his role in a secret child abuse inquiry.

Former Irish minister arrested in fraud investigation

Former Fianna Fail TD Ned O'Keeffe was released without charge after being questioned by gardai over suspected fraud offences.

Martin McGuinness accused of sanctioning murders of two senior police officers

A Dublin security tribunal today heard allegations that Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's deputy first minister, was involved in sanctioning the murders of two senior police officers in 1989.

Six arrested after threats at Real IRA Londonderry rally

Police in Northern Ireland have arrested six people after a masked man at a republican commemoration threatened further violence by dissidents opposed to the peace process.

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.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern resigns from party

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has resigned from his political party in the wake of a corruption inquiry, but insisted the findings of the probe had dealt him a grave injustice.

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn