‘Peter Robinson will not be attending today’s gathering on account of having “a very full diary as First Minister on Thursday”.’ Above, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, First Minister Peter Robinson and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a press conference after a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council at Dublin Castle earlier this month. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Opinion: North talks include parades, the past, flags, welfare reform and the election of a new Assembly speaker

‘Back at the United Nations, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was explaining that any apparent differences between Isis, Hamas, Iran, Hizbollah, the Assad regime, the Palestinian Authority, etc, etc, were entirely illusory.’ Photograph: John Minchillo/AP

Opinion: Isis proclaims its disregard for national borders. Hamas, on the other hand, is a nationalist organisation par excellence(...)

‘Within 48 hours of Theresa Villiers’s optimistic projection, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) announced the closure of the historical enquiries team  by Christmas, due to a cut in the policing budget.’ Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Opinion: ‘The chances of Loyalist or Republican paramilitary groups making a clean breast of it are slim at best. The chances of t(...)

‘No golf writer or proper sports journalist has speculated that Paul McGinley’s sensational hint that he might “split” Northerners Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell for the doubles matches in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles this weekend was down to Rory being from a Catholic background and Graeme  from Protestant stock.’ Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Opinion: American fans, like the players, seem to be more fervent than their European counterparts

‘Would one among them urge English cities, towns and villages to drape themselves in the Ulster Banner, aka St Patrick’s Saltire, to send the message – “Stay”?’ Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a speech at Scottish Labour campaign headquarters in Glasgow. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Opinion: Miliband’s madcap flags proposal has been but one sign of panic in the No camp

‘The majority of people in Gaza and the West Bank believes that Hamas won the latest battle in the long-running war between Palestinians  and Israeli authorities.’ Above, Hamas supporters take part in a rally celebrating what organisers say was a victory by Palestinians in Gaza over Israel following a ceasefire, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.   Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

Opinion: The figures signal the failure of Israel and its allies to persuade the Palestinians by punishment

‘Understandably the DUP is ever alert for incidents which can be construed as evidence of bad faith by the Shinners’. Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: ‘Go On Home’ was originally recorded by the Wolfe Tones

‘In this context, all inhabitants of Gaza and indeed the entity itself can be – and have been – declared legitimate targets.’ Above, the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an offensive, in the east of Gaza City on July 26th.   Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters

Opinion: The doctrine provides a basis for deploying massive force and showing reckless disregard for civilian life

‘Despite Ms Halappanavar’s death, far from being enhanced, women’s rights will be diminished.’ Above, a protest outside the Dáil about abortion legislation following the death of Savita Halappanavar. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Opinion: In both jurisdictions, a frantic ‘pro-life’ rearguard action has persuaded politicians to back off from meaningful change(...)

More articles