Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, meets with his military commanders at an Iraqi Army base near the oil refinery town of Beiji north of Baghdad, Iraq.  Photograph:  AP Photo

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday ordered security forces to ease access to Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and main streets, in an appare(...)

Donald Trump speaks at a rally  in Mobile, Alabama. Photograph:  Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Some blondes have all the fun. As Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush get more testy, Donald Trump gets more chesty. And more blond. It’s mind-boggling to co(...)

Richard III in Mandarin Chinese, which retains the main interlinking threads of ambition and rejection. Photograph: National Theatre of China

Let’s get this straight once and for all: Richard III was an evil, child-killing hunchback whose hatred for his mother was exceeded only by her hat(...)

‘That German banks wrecked the Irish economy is one of the most persistent legends of the crisis. German bankers lent recklessly to the innocent Irish and then sent in Angela Merkel, the Austerity Queen, to get back their bad investments.’  Photograph:  EPA/Wolfgang Kumm

At a friend’s dinner table in Berlin recently I sat opposite a woman visiting from Ireland who had an important announcement to make. She said how, on(...)

A 12-year-old girl from the Yazidi minority who says she was raped by an Islamic State fighter, at the refugee camp she and her family now live in in Qadiya, Iraq. Photograph: Mauricio Lima/The New York Times

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Be(...)

Jeremy Corbyn during a rally in London earlier this month. Photograph:  EPA/ANDY RAIN

The British parties with most to lose if Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour leadership are the Scottish Nationalists and the Greens. Labour voters deserted(...)

An image grab taken from a video shows alleged Islamic State leader  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Mosul. Photograph: Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It seems a strange obsession for men so opposed to graven images that they smash ancient statues with sledge hammers. The jihadists of Islamic State (...)

Fearghal McKee, lead singer of Whipping Boy at Feile. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

It was a hell of a year. It was the year Ireland went to the World Cup in Italy and the country turned upside down and inside out. It was the year Nel(...)

People make victory signs during the funeral ceremony of victims of a suicide bomb attack on Monday in Suruc, Turkey, blamed on Islamic State. Experts are questioning the assumption, however, that Islamic State’s defeat is inevitable. Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State uses terror to force obedience and frighten enemies. It has seized territory, destroyed antiquities, slaughtered minorities, forced wom(...)

Members of the Assyrian Gozarto Protection Forces, consisting of Sutoro militia, a pro-Syrian government Syriac Christian movement, and other Assyrian fighters rest and drink tea before heading to  the front line in the battle against  Islamic State in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakeh on July 13th. Photograph: Youssef Karwashan/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State’s reclusive leader has empowered his inner circle of deputies as well as regional commanders in Syria and Iraq with wide-ranging authori(...)