‘Here in the US, during the 1976 bicentenary of the American revolution, there was much focus on the theme of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as it had evolved since the 18th century.’ Above, the American Declaration of Independence adopted  in Philadelphia (with the future first President of the United States of America, George Washington present). Original Artwork: Engraving after a painting by John Trumbull. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

I’m in Boston this week, speaking about the Irish War of Independence and its legacy. As with other parts of Irish-America, there is much interest her(...)

Prime minister Li Keqiang said China will lower the annual GDP growth target to about 7 per cent from 7.5 per cent, the slowest in 22 years. Photograph: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

For decades now the conventional narrative on China has been massive inflows of capital for manufacturers to take advantage of the cheap labour and ex(...)

The Europa Hotel in Belfast: The trip promises a stay at the hotel “which was bombed and refurbished a staggering 28 times during the Troubles”. Photograph: Paul Mcerlane/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Funds of Sinn Féin, sorry, Friends of Sinn Féin recently alerted American subscribers to its mailing list about a 1916- themed trip to the Auld Sod. “(...)

Sabine Atlaoui, the wife of death-row prisoner Sergei Atlaoui of France, arrives with other relatives at Wijayapura port for a visit to Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap. Sergei Atlaoui along with Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil, Australian Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are facing execution by firing squad in Nusakambangan. Photograph: Mast Irham/EPA 1:10

Indonesia rejected on Thursday an Australian proposal for a prisoner swap made in an 11th hour effort to save the lives of two Australian drug smuggle(...)

James (Jim) Cullen, Friends of Sinn Féin chairman and president. Photograph: Simon Carswell

James Cullen first became interested in Northern Ireland and the Troubles when he visited in 1969 during a leave of absence from the US army while (...)

Baby love: Sharon Hutchinson meets her granddaughter Ella for the first time, at Perth Airport

How do you greet your first grandchild, who has just been born 15,000km away, by Skype? I saw her, less than an hour old, in the arms of her father, S(...)

British soldiers lined up in a narrow trench during World War I (28th October 1914) . Photograph:Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Singer-songwriter Eric Bogle said he wrote The Green Fields of France as a response to the anti-Irish sentiment in Britain during the IRA bombing camp(...)

The CIA established the Center on Climate Change and National Security in 2009, a decision that drew fierce criticism from some Republicans who viewed it as a distraction from more pressing terrorist concerns. Photograph: Getty Images

A senior US scientist has expressed concern that the intelligence services are funding climate change research to learn if new technologies could be u(...)

A good smattering of TDs joined Gabrielle (Gab) McFadden to shooting the breeze in Irish in the Dáil this week.

The Dáil visitors’ bar was doing a roaring trade on Wednesday morning. And no, it wasn’t TDs and Senators gasping for a hair of the dog ahead of the(...)

Between 15 per cent and 40 per cent of dumped plastic enters the ocean each year, according to a survey in the journal ‘Science’. Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters

Nearly nine million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the world’s oceans every year – much more than previously thought – and about one-third of it com(...)