Voices

Despite overwhelming evidence there is still continuing reluctance from politicians to accept just how useless short prison sentences are

NatWest sets its sights on mutual life purchase

NatWest Group has set its sights on a life insurance mutual as the last big acquisition step in its expansion strategy. Fresh from Monday's purchase of Gartmore, the bank yesterday stressed its intention to bolster NatWest Life's shaky position in the long-term savings market.

Terrorists killed by their own devices

IRA 'OWN GOALS'

Thinking of setting up your own portfolio? Private investors, start here

Unit trusts, investment trusts, PEPs and privatisation issues have made it very easy for investors to acquire a stake in the stock market. And there are plenty of private client stockbrokers happy to build and manage a portfolio of direct holdings for the idle investor who still wants direct exposure.

It's good to get personal

YOUR MONEY The fourth in our series on pensions explains how to make the best of a private plan

Diversification strategy pays off for CU

NIC CICUTTI

Life sellers must lay down the scattergun

THE life assurance industry - for long the black sheep of Britain's financial services - is struggling to mend its ways. But its response to the barrage of public criticism and the tougher regulatory regime it now labours under has been disappointing.

CU's expansion pays off as profits rise 25%

NIC CICUTTI

A calm hand for a troubled trade

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW John Carter

Lone sailor Lisa completes world trip of spacey

IAN MacKINNON

Collapse of confidence blamed for pension sales slump

Sales of pensions and life insurance products in Britain slumped last year, according to figures released yesterday by the Association of British Insurers.

Doctor Feelgood

Helena Burton talks to the man who compensates investors for hurt feelings

IRA Ceasefire: Children's hopes reflect the sectarian divide: Catholic primary school pupils are more optimistic about the future than Protestants

ONLY ONE boy in the class of 10- and 11-year-olds thought the ceasefire would last. 'I want it to last,' he said. 'You get sick of all the killing.'

IRA Ceasefire: Four inmates at the centre of controversy

THOMAS QUIGLEY: Given three life sentences in 1985 for the murders of two civilians and a bomb disposal expert in London. Those who died were Nora Field, 59, and John Breslin, 18, in a bomb blast at Chelsea barracks, and Kenneth Howorth, who was trying to defuse an IRA device in Oxford Street.

IRA Ceasefire: Tears and violence that marked 25 troubled years

The killing of Barney McGuigan and 13 other Catholics by the British Army in Londonderry's Bogside on Bloody Sunday, 30 January, 1972, set the seal on two decades of violent confrontation, bringing death to British towns such as Warrington, where an IRA bomb killed two boys, Tim Parry and Jonathan Ball, in March 1993, and a high-profile Army presence in working-class areas of Belfast, such as the Falls Road

IRA terrorist gets 25 years

Expectations of an early, open-ended but temporary IRA ceasefire remained high in Belfast and Dublin. At the Old Bailey Sean McNulty, 26, an English-born construction worker, was jailed for 25 years for taking part in an IRA plot to bomb oil and gas depots on Tyneside. In London part of the West End was sealed off after a bomb warning from a telephone caller using a recognised codeword. Pages 2, 6
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada