Opera On The Streets for MusicTown 2015. Maria Kelly, Sylvia O’Brien, Sarah Shine and Rachel Croash promoting the Wide Open Opera show for the festival.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

MusicTown festivalThe inaugural festival kicked off in Dublin city on Friday and will run until April 19th. The eclectic programme includes more than (...)

Gertrude Weaver, who has died at the age of 116, is pictured Camden, Arkansas. Photograph: Reuters/Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Facility/Handout

Gertrude Weaver, who last week became the world’s oldest-known living person, has died at the age of 116 at a senior care facility in Arkansas, off(...)

Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers bakery leaving Laganside Court in Belfast. Photograph: Stephen Kilkenny/PA Wire

Spare a thought for the beleaguered bakers and the offended florists. From Northern Ireland to the US states of Indiana and Arkansas, the Christian(...)

Indiana senate president David Long (left) and house speaker Brian Bosma during a press conference at the Capitol in Indianapolis. Photograph: Aaron P Bernstein/Getty Images

Republicans stepped back from Indiana’s “religious freedom” law as state lawmakers moved to change the legislation amid uproar that the anti-gay stat(...)

Jenna Morris trims Nick Bonora’s hair at Bernadette’s Barbershop in  Lafayette, Indiana.  The store is one of several that display a sticker stating: “This business serves everyone.” Photograph: Nate Chute/Reuters

The national uproar over new religious freedom state laws has shown how the conflict between defenders of religious liberty and opponents of discri(...)

Ashley Judd: supporters of a basketball team posted tweets calling Judd a ‘whore’ and threatening her with sexual violence. Photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Should we worry about Ashley Judd setting the cops on a bunch of Twitter-happy knuckleheads? There are certainly greater threats to the global communi(...)

Acrobats Emily Aoibheann and Elaine McCague (above, with Peter Corboy)  enliven the visual element of the show. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

Far Away From Me The Ark, Dublin ***   In Far Away From Me, writer and director Amy Conroy roams far from the bucolic landsca(...)

The Anthem  website is displayed on a laptop computer for a photograph in Washington. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Several US states are investigating a massive cyberattack on US health insurer Anthem , which according to sources said is being examined for possi(...)

Activists protest near the Manhattan apartment of billionaire and Republican financier David Koch last June in New York City. The demonstrators were protesting against the campaign contributions by the billionaire Koch brothers. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

With just 646 days to go, the 2016 US presidential race is already starting up and the ring is packed with various Republicans vying to prove who is t(...)

The US Supreme Court is to decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry under the country’s constitution.   Vin Testa, a supporter of same-sex marriage, waves a rainbow colored flag outside the US Supreme Court  in 2013.  Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The US Supreme Court is to decide whether or not same-sex couples have a right to marry under the country’s constitution, setting up a potentially hi(...)