Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, one of a series of fictional murderers imitated by a serial killer in Pierre Lemaitre’s Irène

Pierre Lemaitre’s Alex earned rave reviews last year, not least for the way Lemaitre rework(...)

“The church is facilitated in presenting itself today as a religious organisation, tomorrow as a state – a handy arrangement, given some of its more sordid entanglements.” Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, yesterday. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

It was the post office in the Vatican that earned the Holy See its first stamp of approval as a sovereign state. This explains why Vatican stamps are (...)

Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a confidence vote at the Senate in Rome last week. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters.

“A whole political era has come to an end; Wednesday [in parliament] marked the end of 20 years, in a political context and with a fierce political co(...)

Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan  at the coffee break during the Fine Gael parliamentary party conference in Killenard, Co Laois.

Who does Micheál Martin think he is, calling Enda Kenny a dictator?Up with this our dear Taoiseach will not put. We’d like to see the Fianna Fáil lead(...)

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny at  the press conference  concluding the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party conference, in Killenard, Co Laois today. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has rejected what he described as a “political attack” by Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin who earlier launched a scathing attack on th(...)

Former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti embodied, more than anyone else, the postwar First Republic in all its controversies, scandals and mysteries. Photograph: Reuters/Tony Gentile

Seven times prime minister of Italy Giulio Andreotti, one of the country’s most influential postwar politicians, died yesterday in Rome at the (...)

Luis Suárez (right) and  Branislav Ivanovic on the ground after the Liverpool player bit his opponent during a Premier League match on Sunday. Photograph:  Peter Byrne/PA

The decision of Liverpool football club to keep its star player Luis Suárez, despite his bizarre biting of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a(...)

“Even if Paolo Di Canio has attempted to mollify public opinion with various apologies on the Sunderland website, that is hardly the point. His track record as a Mussolini enthusiast is long established.” Photograph: Reuters/Nigel Roddis

When football manager Paolo Di Canio expresses his admiration for fascist dictator Benito Mussolini rest assured he is not alone in modern Ital(...)