Ireland's Jonathan Sexton in action

Jonathan Sexton used to Ronan O'Gara entrance

Jonathan Sexton insists he is growing accustomed to Ronan O'Gara replacing him from the bench.

Keith Earls pictured scoring against Wales in the World Cup

Keith Earls will be inspired against Wales predicts Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell believes Keith Earls will be inspired by the birth of his first child when Ireland's RBS 6 Nations opens against Wales on Sunday.

Man jailed for rape after 26 years

A driving instructor was jailed for eight years today after being found guilty of raping a young woman almost 26 years ago.

Organ donations will not hit target

Patients in need of life-saving kidney donations are dying because of a failure by the Government to encourage people to donate their organs when they die, according to the head of a leading charity.

Ireland head coach Declan Kidney will pay close consideration to the Irish Wolfhounds' performance in the second-string international against England Saxons

Irish rely on old guard in Six Nations

The Ireland head coach, Declan Kidney, has named a battle-hardened 24-man squad for the Six Nations game against Wales in Dublin a fortnight on Sunday. No uncapped players made the cut, despite the fact that a number of big names – the centre Brian O'Driscoll, the hooker Jerry Flannery and the back-row forwards David Wallace and Denis Leamy included – missed out because of injury.

John Walsh: Hatchet jobs need witand learning

Sing a song of critics/ pockets full of lye/ four and twenty critics/ hope that you will die,/ hope that you will peter out, / hope that you will fail..." wrote a fuming Ernest Hemingway to a Mr Lee Wilson Dodd who'd given his story collection Men Without Women a bad review.

Khan: Innate sense of rhythmicality

Sultan Khan: Indian vocalist and doyen of the sarangi

Sultan Khan was a hereditary sarangiya – a sarangi player – and one of the preeminent Hindustani or Northern Indian classical soloists of our age. He played one of the most brutish-looking instruments humanity has ever devised. Yet the voices that he coaxed from this squat, bowed, stringed instrument were divine. The instrument's name derives from two words meaning "100 colours", but Sultan Khan proved that the sarangi hid many more than that. Many hold it to be the instrument able to capture the nuances and tonal range of the human voice the most faithfully. Many – Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead drummer-turned-Smithsonian Folkwayswallah who recorded him included – hold sarangi to be the greatest melody instrument ever devised. And without question, Khan was one of sarangi's all-time virtuosi.

Kenneth Williams

Dear Diary, What a New Year I've had...

Ian Irvine looks back at how some of the arts' most prolific journal keepers used to spend the turn of the year...eating lark and making love

Paul O'Connel replaces the injured Brian O'Driscoll as captain

Paul O'Connell named as Ireland Six Nations captain

Paul O'Connell will captain Ireland in this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship, the Irish Rugby Football Union has announced.

Indian anti-corruption activist forced to end hunger strike

The 74-year-old Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare cut short a three-day hunger strike yesterday as concerns mounted over his health.

Father jailed for killing toddler

A father who killed his toddler son because he was crying was jailed for nine years today.

'Broker' admits sale of black-market kidneys

A New York man has pleaded guilty to brokering the sale of black-market organs in what prosecutors said was the first US conviction for illegally selling human kidneys for profit.

From doctor to donor: How does a renal consultant feel when he's asked to give up a kidney?

Dr John Scoble has helped thousands of people to decide whether to donate an organ.

Murphy earns Ireland World Cup call-up

Geordan Murphy was today named in Ireland's World Cup squad just 48 hours after being resigned to missing out.

Rugby round-up: Coach Kidney bemoans Ireland's inability to keep the ball

Ireland coach Declan Kidney insisted his team needs to improve after a 19-12 defeat to France on Saturday. The first-half of the World Cup warm-up in Bordeaux was dominated by the hosts, and despite an improved second-half from his team, Kidney refused to be too cheered.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links