Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt at Stormont  spoke about his party’s intent to resign from Northern Ireland’s power-sharing executive. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire Mary Minihan: It’s time to ditch ‘peace process speak’ for real answers

A decade after decommissioning, there are dead bodies on Belfast’s streets again

Xi Jinping, China’s president,  makes the point that while China may look like a colossus to outsiders, its development is in fact highly uneven and on average its income remains a fraction of that in the more developed world. Photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg Paul Gillespie: China’s economic challenges have global effect

‘Much of the world’s future will depend on how this transition happens and how it is organised’

 A businessman watches a display showing global stock markets  in Tokyo. Photograph:  EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA Cliff Taylor: Behind market volatility lies one big fear

Can western economies deliver economic growth and higher living standards as they did in the past?

Above,  Michael Collins  in London for the treaty negotiations  in December 1921. Photograph:  Topical Press Agency/Getty Images Diarmaid Ferriter: Michael Collins was no trail-blazing feminist

Collins wrote to Art O’Brien to express his disapproval about an intelligence operation that had been delegated to a woman

A  Syrian migrant runs after crossing under a fence as he enters Hungary, at the border with Serbia, near Roszke, August 27th, 2015.  Photograph:  Reuters/Bernadett Szabo Breda O’Brien: Could Ireland become the fairest little country for migrants?

Images from ‘Children of Men’ are eerily similar to current television news broadcasts, down to the cages and the barbed wire

While unkind caricatures of “cat ladies” focus on loneliness and social awkwardness, the man who lives alone with a cat is more often portrayed as an out-and-out psychopath Donald Clarke: One man and his cat – the purrfect couple

One individual actually titled her blog: ‘I Don’t Like Men Who Own Cats’

‘This week the government reaction to events in Northern Ireland was initially incoherent, with Frances Fitzgerald sounding more robust, and more political this week than she did last weekend, perhaps because of what Joan Burton and Micheál Martin had to say in between.’  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES Noel Whelan: Bye-bye silly season, hello serious season of political debate

‘We haven’t even begun to have a real election debate about the policy choices. Instead we just seem to be lapsing back into old-style pre-election auction politics’

‘Children have a right to attend inclusive public schools.’ Photograph: Getty Images Four ways to end school discrimination against atheists and minority faiths

‘Despite apologies to Derek Walsh, the Government now supports two Bills that reinforce the right of State-funded schools to religiously discriminate’

Vester Lee Flanagan, who was known on-air as Bryce Williams,  shot himself after  shooting dead  Alison Parker, a WDBJ reporter, and Adam Ward, a WDBJ photographer,   in Virginia on Wednesday  while they were  conducting a live interview. Photograph: REUTERS/WDBJ7/ Handout via Reuters Anger in the workplace: are there lessons from Virginia?

Some signs should suggest that a work colleague is in sufficient distress to warrant seeking assistance for them

‘I watched the recent Newsnight interview with Yvette Cooper in amazement. How many people was she out to alienate?’ Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Simon Jenkins: Changing the ground rules for British Labour leadership battle

Many of Labour’s regional stars would knock spots off the current leadership frontrunners

Six in ten respondents to a survey by the Irish Australian Chamber of Commercesaid Government assistance would be “very important” or “somewhat important” if they decided to move back to Ireland. David Farrell: Diaspora should be given the vote

All of this State’s European neighbours allow members of their diasporas to cast a ballot

Ripples from the China crisis: markets everywhere have been afflicted by a bad case of the vapours. Photograph:  EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA Eamonn McCann: The half-dead zombie markets are feeding on the living

‘One of the reasons the reality of the markets can still seem mysterious is that their workings remain obscured behind distorted concepts, junk language’

  Firefighters battle flames engulfing a house that was destined as housing for migrants, earlier this month in  Weissach im Tal, Baden-Wuerttemberg state, Germany. There have been over 200 attacks on refugee accomodation this year.  Photograph: EPA/FRIEBE Facing up to the challenge of our generation

German 10-point plan for European refugee policy response based on solidarity

‘Those who bought property in the south east of England before the housing boom are clearly in the best position as they will benefit from all three windfalls.’ Photograph: Getty Images Three key factors make it a good time for Irish people in the UK to return home

‘An interesting question is how these returning migrants are likely to affect the Irish housing market’

‘Beyond use’, reads the headline on the front of the Irish News on October 24th, 2001, after Gen John de Chastelain had witnessed the decommissioning of the Provisional IRA’s arsenal. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Getty Michael McDowell: Abolition of Provisional IRA was never on the cards

IRA could more easily metastasise than wind itself up – that was the greater evil

Senior Republican Bobby Storey (right) listens to PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton  at a debate. “Perhaps most extraordinary is the statement by . . . Hamilton that although the IRA is illegal, its continuing existence has been good for the peace process.”  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire In the North we have learned to live and stagger on in crisis mode

People seem not unduly concerned about prospect of the fall of the house of Stormont

Church should give some rural schools to State

Absence of choice for those who want alternatives to Catholic education is a problem

‘The right to housing would help those who are facing homelessness now and would be a fundamental safeguard against the recurrence of this gravely unacceptable crisis.’ Photograph: Getty Images Why the right to housing should be enshrined in the Irish Constitution

‘The right to housing would help those who are facing homelessness now and would be a fundamental safeguard against the recurrence of this gravely unacceptable crisis’

“After all, we Irish emigrants are disenfranchised, aren’t we?” Photograph: The Irish Times How many ‘home to voters’ were actually entitled to vote?

Turning blind eye may set dangerous precedent for close abortion referendum

‘Mistress America’ director Noah Baumbach and actor Greta Gerwig, who plays entrepreneur Brooke in the film. Photograph: Ryan Pfluger/The New York Times Una Mullally: ‘Mistress America’ reflects fantasy of the self-starter

‘The permanent pensionable job has been gone for some time, but now most things resembling it have disappeared’

Gen Babacar Gaye, the United Nations secretary general’s representative to the Central African Republic: The Senegalese diplomat “tendered his resignation at my request,” UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon told reporters. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images UN must urgently find a better way to tackle peacekeepers accused of sex abuse

The UN expert report is in stark contrast with a Secretary General’s report earlier this year to the UN General Assembly on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation

Many parents who became involved in the referendum understood the implications of homophobia on their children’s lives for the first time Unsung heroes of marriage equality vote – three months on

‘Many parents who became involved in the referendum understood the implications of homophobia on their children’s lives for the first time’

 Richard Boyd Barrett: ‘We are against the Harbour Company’s plans to build a cruise ship berth that would destroy the unique aspect of the harbour.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times Viewpoint: Cruise ship plan for Dún Laoghaire is not the only way forward

Richard Boyd Barrett: ‘This, in reality, is only a more expensive rehash of the 1989 development plan for bars, restaurants, and shops on the old Mail Boat pier that caused such an outrage that it was quickly abandoned’

Syrian migrants on an overcrowded dinghy try to disembark on the shore of the Greek island of Kos this week. Photograph: EPA/YANNIS KOLESIDIS Fallout from Syrian conflict sweeps across Middle East and Europe

Four million people have fled Syria while 12 million inside the country are in need of humanitarian assistance

‘Not to be outdone Sinn Féin staged its own elaborate re-enactment of the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa, featuring a large group of supporters wearing the uniforms of the Irish Volunteers and carrying replica guns.’ Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA  Stephen Collins: McGuigan killing raises questions about Rising commemorations

‘Both governments have been treading softly on issues such as this for fear of upsetting the delicate balance that has kept the power-sharing administration in the North in place’

‘On Monday, the Government will discontinue this scheme, and with it, one of the most amusing Irish websites, www.heritagecertificate.com’ Diarmaid Ferriter: Last chance to get your certificate of Irish heritage

‘How should we characterise this certificate experiment of the past five years? Crass? Embarrassing? A tacky attempt to try and exploit the success of the digitisation by the National Archives of the Irish census records of 1901 and 1911?’

‘For the Government, the game is to take hold of the ball and, above all, avoid any more train-wrecks like Irish Water’. Cliff Taylor: Here’s the case for a November election

We’re facing an autumn of risk-free government and opportunistic opposition

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn speaks outside the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle, during his campaign. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Breda O’Brien: Trump and Corbyn tap into electorate’s views

‘How viable is our democracy when despite the proliferation of new parties and old, many Irish people still have no party for which they can vote?’

‘Over the last 15 years, I have gained a black belt in the art of Pretending I’ve Seen The West Wing.’ Martin Sheen as President Bartlett. Photograph: Warner Bros/Getty Images Donald Clarke: A sentimental journey to ‘The West Wing’

Aaron Sorkin’s series is implausible, corny and irony-free . . . and yet I’m still watching

‘If Obama vetoes a resolution of disapproval, it will take 34 senators to override his veto and block the agreement. That means opponents have to find an unlikely 11 more Democrats. Photograph:  REUTERS Patrick Smyth: Obama faces tough battle to get Iran deal through Congress

‘While several of the Republican presidential hopefuls have vowed they would repudiate the deal on day one of their presidency, history would suggest that wiser counsel would prevail’

‘The apparent end-point of “new media” was articulated by digital entrepreneur and “King of Clickbait” Emerson Spartz in an interview in the New Yorker earlier this year.’ Photograph: Getty Images You may not Like this article – if you’re fond of clickbait and ‘popular culture’

‘On current projections we are heading for the worst of both worlds in the next Dáil: a populist government and a populist opposition’

‘Section 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act 2000 is a disgrace and under any circumstances should be repealed.’  Photograph: Getty Images Do we want to discriminate against children based on their religious status?

. . . Or do we want equal school access for all children, baptised or not?

‘In 2015 the average cost of getting a child ready for senior infants (including clothing, footwear, school books, classroom resources and voluntary contributions) is €365.’ Photograph: Getty Images Back to school: parents under pressure as bills loom despite ‘free’ education

‘There is genuine outrage from working parents that despite being in full-time employment they still struggle to make ends meet at back to school time’

‘It is a measure of the cynicism surrounding policing and justice in the North in cases which are politically sensitive or can be made to seem so that speculation is widespread that the matter will never reach court.’ Photograph: Getty Images Eamonn McCann: North justice in the dock after McGuigan killing

Cynicism surrounds policing and judicial system in Northern Ireland

‘Decriminalisation of both the purchasers of sex and the sex workers ensures an environment with better supports and protections for everyone.’ Photograph: Getty Images Head to head: Why the purchase of sex should not be a criminal offence

‘My Twitter feed was full of sex workers from Ireland to Thailand to Kenya to the US celebrating Amnesty’s decision’

‘Every year Ruhama works with more than 300 women in Ireland whose lives have been seriously, and in some cases irreparably, damaged by prostitution.’  Photograph: Getty Images Head to head: Why the purchase of sex should be a criminal offence

Evidence from around the world shows that legalisation of the trade as a whole fails to protect the most vulnerable

Should the purchase of sex be a criminal offence?  Photograph: Getty Images Have your say: Should the purchase of sex be a criminal offence?

Controversy has arisen over Amnesty International recent vote on the issue

‘You don’t really need drink, in fact it’s probably been holding you back.’ Photograph: Getty Images Christine Dwyer Hickey: A sobering thought on drink and an Italian ‘tragedia’

‘What starts out as an adventure becomes a habit, and a well-fed habit can only go one way’

The Old Towers of Ballymun. Photograph: Alan Betson, Irish Times Housing crisis: Ireland needs five to 10 new Ballymuns as soon as possible

‘15,000 to 30,000 apartments (or more) are needed immediately in urban areas to make housing more affordable’

Bentiu, South Sudan. Photograph: Colm Moloney World Humanitarian Day: Time to recall aid workers who lost their lives

A school twinning led Feargal O’Connell to realise he wanted to be an aid worker

‘Merkel, for her part, used Schäuble’s exit plan as a bargaining tool, certain that Tsipras would eventually cave in and get rid of Varoufakis.’ Above,  Wolfgang Schäuble, in Dublin last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times A missed opportunity for Greece and the euro zone

‘Politics can make strange bedfellows, but sometimes just for a one-night stand. In the end Varoufakis was overruled by Tsipras and Schäuble was overruled by Merkel’

Police officers  attempt to contain disturbances along the controversial Ardoyne flashpoint area on July 13th, 2015 in Belfast. Photograph:   Charles McQuillan/Getty Images Patsy McGarry: Cost of violence at North parades should be borne by organisers

‘Last month was a reminder of the dark underbelly that can accompany Orange marches and which the Order allows off the leash when it suits’

‘Governments don’t feel compelled to invest in a problem over which there is considerable apathy.’ Photograph: Getty Images The obesity epidemic: why we need an independent agency to tackle it

Ireland should be spending €15-20 million annually on a top-down and bottom-up approach to obesity

‘That German banks wrecked the Irish economy is one of the most persistent legends of the crisis. German bankers lent recklessly to the innocent Irish and then sent in Angela Merkel, the Austerity Queen, to get back their bad investments.’  Photograph:  EPA/Wolfgang Kumm Derek Scally: Don’t blame German banks for the Irish economic crisis

‘German banks were not big lenders to Ireland’s pre-crisis domestic banking sector. British banks, US banks and offshore banks were’

Cork City Hall: given that the city’s governance dates back to the 12th century, it would be an act of folly of historic proportions for the Smiddy committee to recommend amalgamation of the city and county. Photograph: Getty Images. Why Cork should resist attempts to merge councils

Former mayors are right: merger would seal Cork’s fate as a second-tier city

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