The plan was the brainchild of a lecturer at Reading University, Christy Davies, who warned that when Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997, there would be no future for its 5.5 million inhabitants.

Even at the time it must have seemed like a truly bizarre idea. In the midst of the Northern Ireland Troubles, it was suggested that the entire popula(...)

JK Rowling founded Lumos after reading about children being kept in caged beds. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

An international charity founded by Harry Potter creator JK Rowling is teaming up with NUI Galway on a project aimed at ending institutionalised care(...)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsirpas delivers a televised address to the nation from his office at Maximos Mansion  in Athens, Greece. Photograph: Getty 1:28

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has vowed to push on with his plan for a referendum this Sunday on the recent proposals from the country’s credito(...)

President Xi Jinping has called for greater efforts to guide  children of China’s nouveau riche to “live a positive life”. Photograph: Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg

Perhaps the fact that the children of the nouveau riche, the tuhao generation mentioned in a recent Asia Briefing column, are being sent to special sc(...)

The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, where a three-week festival, Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture, will take place next year. Photograph: Getty Images

The lead-up to the centenary of the 1916 Rising presents many opportunities to reflect on the diverse and complex history of this island. And think(...)

A protester waves a Greek national flag during a pro European Union demonstration in Athens, as Greece approaches deadline on €1.6 billion debt. Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

For historians, the standoff between Greece and its creditors is a case of deja vu all over again. A Greek default on loan repayments of €1.6 billion (...)

Trading up: The Gulfstream G650ER has a list price of €60 million and a range of about 11,800km

Businessman Denis O’Brien is ordering a new private jet, worth about €60 million, to replace the aircraft he recently put on the market. Mr O’Brien (...)

The mayor of the Hungarian village of Asotthalom, Laszlo Toroczkai, in his office. On his desk are passports and other documents thrown away by illegal migrants crossing from nearby Serbia. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Beside a quiet country road that sidles into Hungary from the Serbian border, weary people push through a last barrier of rain-glossy trees and stand,(...)

Marc de Faoite: ‘Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming, but it’s real alright.’

I live on a tropical island. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming, but it’s real alright - the white sandy beaches, the coconut pa(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives in Brussels for a Eurozone emergency summit on Greece. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters. 1:23

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that a deal on the Greek crisis is needed within the coming days but he played down the possibility of a definitive agre(...)