President Michael D Higgins listens during the  United Nations Sustainable Development Summit  at the UN  headquarters in New York earlier this week. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

President Michael D Higgins has said that political debate about how to reduce inequality and protect against poverty has become “very much secondar(...)

US president Barack Obama addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday. Photograph: Reuters//Carlo Allegri 1:37

US president Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin clashed publicly at the United Nations on how to respond to the war in Syria that has crea(...)

Pope Francis kisses and blesses Michael Keating (10), who has cerebral palsy, at Philadelphia airport. Photograph:Joseph Gidjunis/World Meeting of Families via AP

If the emphasis of the first half of Pope Francis’s US visit was about speaking hard truths to political and world leaders, the second half was about (...)

Pope Francis waves to the crowd during a parade in Philadelphia on Saturday night. Photograph: Matt Rourke/EPA

Pope Francis said that he met victims of clerical sex abuse in Philadelphia and that “all responsible will be held accountable”. Speaking at a seminar(...)

 Pope Francis speaks  in Philadelphia on the  last leg of his six-day visit to the US. Photograph: Getty

Pope Francis used a speech in the birthplace of the United States to voice forceful words of support to the country’s immigrants, telling them not to (...)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Mark Makela/Reuters

Pope Francis landed in Philadelphia on the final stop of his tour of the United States, calling for a more active role for women and the laity in t(...)

A worker prepares to fit a wooden arm onto a Christ statue during preparations of the altar where Pope Francis celebrated  Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution,  Havana, on September 17th. Photogaph: Desmond Boylan/AP

You may have seen his photograph, which featured as one of the photos of the day on various news websites last weekend. It was Desmond Boylan’s shot o(...)

House speaker John Boehner  announces his resignation: he decided to act following the “awesome sight” of the pope’s historic address to congress. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner surprised colleagues and the wider political establishment in Washington by annou(...)

Pope Francis at the UN: he  blamed the “misuse and destruction of the environment” on “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity” Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Pope Francis continued his groundbreaking visit to the US with further strong appeals for action, demanding peace and environmental justice before t(...)

Anthony Kearns: ‘I suppose music is the crowd-calmer before the pope. We are the peace-making force. Music tames the savage beast.’ Photograph: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts

At a ceremony in Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon, Irish tenor Anthony Kearns will be the opening act for one of the biggest events of his career. The (...)