‘During the 2008 campaign, when Clinton was being urged to show a more human side, Democratic pollster Mark Penn famously remarked that “being human is overrated”. So too is “authenticity”.’ Above, Clinton with host Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show in New York  on September 16th. Photograph:  REUTERS/Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

It is character, rather than ‘authenticity’, that matters in US presidential elections and Clinton’s toughness and her willingness(...)

“No” supporters shout slogans during celebrations following Sunday’s referendum   in Athens. Photograph:  Reuters/Dimitris Michalakis

Vote dashes hopes of many that Syriza would make way for more emollient coalition

Supporters of the ruling AK Party hold aloft a placard with a picture of Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan as they attend an election rally. The slogan on the placard reads: “National willpower. National power. Goal: 2023, 2053, 2071.” Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

Parliamentary election pivotal for planned changes by increasingly autocratic president

Marriage-equality mural in the Liberties area of Dublin: marriage equality, which was a marginal, almost eccentric demand only two decades ago, is now a reality in 20 countries and in many sub-national regions, including 37 of the 50 states of the United States. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Comment: Homosexual activity is still illegal in almost 80 countries

‘British Prime Minister David Cameron struck a conciliatory note on Scotland, where his Conservatives won just one seat on Thursday, promising to create “the strongest devolved government anywhere in the world with important powers over taxation”. Photograph: . EPA/ANDY RAIN

Denis Staunton: Difficulties of a disorderly federalisation of the UK may demand innovative thinking in Dublin

Hillary Clinton and her team will likely try to fight as if she is the underdog, as they did in the New York senate race in 2000. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

The US presidential hopeful will try to satisfy both her friends on Wall Street and the core values of the Democratic Party base (...)

‘Most of the money raised is spent within the US and the most important advantage Friends of Sinn Féin offers the party is in building a network of support that could influence US policy towards Ireland in the future.’  Above, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photograph:  Alex Wong/Getty Images

The scale of party’s US fundraising came as a surprise to most people in Ireland

‘This week’s encounter between the German and Greek finance ministers has been reported with a pleasing simplicity, as Europe’s leading deficit hawk Wolfgang Schäuble and the libertarian Marxist Yanis Varoufakis could not even agree to disagree after their meeting. The tone of their joint press conference was, however, strikingly polite and even warm, despite sharp differences of view on how to deal with the Greek crisis.’ Photograph:   Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

‘The Taoiseach’s hardline rhetoric on Greece is short-sighted, because the consequences of failing to strike a deal with the new (...)

‘A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of Syriza’. Above, Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Syriza party, speaking to his supporters at a pre-election party congress in Athens, last week.  Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

European Debt Conference based on the 1953 London Conference that aided Germany

‘The Senate report has lifted the lid on just one element of the disastrous “global war on terror” unleashed by the Bush administration after 9/11. In doing so, US lawmakers have gone further than their counterparts in Europe’s national parliaments – indeed, Poland only finally admitted this week that it had hosted one of the CIA’s secret prisons.’ Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Conclusions of Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture programme are devastating

An armoured water truck cleans the street of debris after the East German government ordered construction work to strengthen the border crossing at Heinrich-Heine- Strasse (aka Checkpoint Delta) on the Berlin Wall, December 4th, 1961 A car drives between US tanks, in October 1961, across the famous borderof the US sector in Berlin, at Checkpoint Charlie crossing point which was used by diplomats and foreigners
How the Wall was built

'Berlin was an anomaly and the Soviets were eager to incorporate the city into their German satellite state'

Thousands of young East Berliners on the Berlin Wall, near the Brandenburg Gate on November 11th, 1989.

Berlin 25: Fall of the Wall 25th anniversary

A gay couple strolling past the graffiti on a remaining section of the Berlin Wall in  August 1993. Photo: Steve Eason/Getty Images)

Lack of economic pressure and a sense of being cut off from the surrounding world encouraged creative experimentation in 1980s Wes(...)

US president Barack Obama meets his national security and public health teams in the Roosevelt Room at the White House yesterday. Photograph:  Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The voters are mad as hell, writes Denis Staunton

A view of the northern Gaza Strip as seen from the Israeli farming community of Netiv Haasara last month. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

The latest violence in Gaza seemed to suggest that criticism be damned: Israel would do whatever it felt necessary to defend itsel(...)

A resident of Tabqa city touring the streets on a motorcycle waves an Islamist flag in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, in nearby Raqqa city August 24, 2014. Islamic State militants stormed the air base in northeast Syria on Sunday, capturing most of it from government forces after days of fighting over the strategic location, a witness and a monitoring group said. Fighting raged inside the walls of the Tabqa air base, the Syrian army's last foothold in an area otherwise controlled by IS, which has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq. REUTERS/Stringer   (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Review: Patrick Cockburn’s book about Isis and the new Sunni uprising examines how the West got it wrong

‘The most thoughtful comment from any leading politician came from Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a libertarian Tea Party favourite who currently leads the field of potential Republican presidential hopefuls.’  Photograph:  Scott Olson/Getty Images

World View: Barack Obama cannot say anything about race relations for fear of making things worse, but Hillary Clinton has no s(...)

A US flag flies in front of the Brandenburg Gate, near the US embassy in Berlin. Germany’s expulsion of the CIA station chief in Berlin is close to a diplomatic nuclear option and is unprecedented in the postwar history of German-US relations. Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty Images

Whether they trust one another or not, Germany and the US will continue to share intelligence

Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi (l) shakes hands with European Council president Herman Van Rompuy as they arrive to commemorate the centenary of the start of the first World War, in Ypres. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Opinion: As Italy takes on the EU presidency, its prime minister has rallied support for budgetary flexibility

Badge of honour: supporters of Hillary Clinton are preparing for a presidential run. Photograph: Astrid Riecken/MCT via Getty

With her bid for the US presidency in 2016 almost certain, it’s not surpising that Hillary Clinton isn’t dishing the dirt in her l(...)

Thomas Piketty: said it was unjust that homeowners with large mortgage debt should pay the same level of property tax as those who owned their homes outright. Photograph: Ed Alcock/the New York Times

Levy should take account of assets and mortgage debt, claims French economist

French connection: Thomas Piketty. Photograph: Ed Alcock/New York Times

Thomas Piketty’s theory of rising inequality has made him one of 2014’s best-selling authors. As the French economist prepares fo(...)

Jackie Kennedy

Few of Jacqueline Kennedy's letters have been published or sold at auction and fewer still have revealed much about her

Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference  in Brussels on Wednesday.

World View: Putin’s aggression has strengthened transatlantic alliance

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with US president Barack Obama on St Patrick’s Day 2012.  The annual chorus of outrage about the St Patrick’s Day ministerial exodus has been more muted than usual this year but that hasn’t stopped the Government adopting its traditional, defensive posture. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

St Patrick’s Day could offer a chance to listen to Irish communities abroad and learn from them

Members of the Knesset guard stand around the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon as he lies in state at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem yesterday. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Despite a chequered career, by the time he slipped into a coma in 2006, Israel’s former prime minister was widely viewed as a bol(...)

Angela Merkel: approved a coalition pact this week that strengthens workers’ rights, introduces a minimum wage, augments pension rights, and further bolsters regulation in the housing market. Photograph:  Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Opinion: Pact could have profound implications for Germany’s neighbours and partners, including Ireland

President Kennedy signs a proclamation for the interdiction of the delivery of offensive weapons to Cuba at the White House on October 23rd, 1962.

Kennedy’s patience, caution and willingness to compromise helped to avert disaster and stands as an example of imaginative diplo(...)

Shanghai skyline: diplomats who have had intensive language training might expect to spend a significant part of their careers in a region where that language is important. Photograph: Bloomberg

Opinion: Government should revisit decision to close mission to the Holy See

Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz  leaves after speaking following a meeting  of his party caucus on Wednesday. Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: Tightening of money supply could threaten fragile economic recovery

The main focus of the SPD’s concern appears to be Angela Merkel’s support for the use of the European Stability Mechanism to directly recapitalise ailing banks across the euro zone

German demand about tax is opposition to taxpayer bailouts of banks and disquiet over tiny sums in tax paid by digital giants

Lawmakers in Washington after voting to guarantee that federal workers will receive back pay once the government reopens after its shutdown. Public opinion is likely to turn further against Republicans as the full impact of the interruption to many federal services is felt. Photograph: Drew Angerer/The New York Times

Many in Washington cannot believe Congress will be crazy enough to drive theeconomy over a cliff

Veteran US political activist and intellectual Noam Chomsky has warned that the European Union’s response to the economic crisis has left European democracy in a worse condition than that of the United States. Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

US linguist and political activist to give Frontline Defenders lecture in RDS, Dublin

Noam Chomsky. “The oil dictatorships, the countries that the West really cares about for obvious reasons, their uprisings have been suppressed very harshly and very successfully, with western support.” Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty

In advance of his RDS lecture, the veteran US political activist and intellectual shares his insight on key issues

The strategy: Early yesterday morning, minutes before he took the stage in Chicago for his victory speech, Barack Obama sent…

OPINION: A re-elected Obama would enjoy about 18 months before entering his lame duck phase

Worn in the USA

POLITICS: Many ordinary Americans are finding it hard to survive, and their economy is under threat from China and India

GERMANY’S MINISTER for European Affairs has confirmed that European Union negotiators sought to design the euro zone fiscal compac(...)

WORLDVIEW: AS POLITICAL cliches go, it’s not quite as tiresome as “events, dear boy, events”, nor as trite as “all politics …

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