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Brendan Lannon’s very entrance to this world was fraught with medical concern, as indeed would be the first 30 years of his life

At 37, Brendan Lannon is a man who, without hesitation, could be referred to as a medical miracle. Sitting across from him now, he having just arrived(...)

For people worried about isolation and not being able to visit the homes of friends and family, it is worth remembering that Joseph and Mary could find no room at the inn in Bethlehem. The first Christmas is a story of isolation. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov /

He’s making a list, And checking it twice; Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town If Santa Claus was making a list (...)

Jean-Paul Sartre in Paris in 1966. Photograph: Dominique Berretty/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the most famous atheists of the 20th century, left his unbelief aside – at least tempor(...)

Workshop of Gerard David, Adoration of the Magi (detail), circa 1514. Oil on wood panel. Princeton University Art Museum

The Christmas story has always been impervious to anything as inconvenient of the facts of what actually happened. For millennia biblical scholars hav(...)

 Christmas tree at Manger Square  beside the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, a city under total lockdown. Photograph: Atef Safadi

With Bethlehem under lockdown, this year’s festive period may be the gloomiest ever celebrated in the West Bank city. Bethlehem is one of four West (...)

A file combination photograph of Jupiter (L) and Saturn as taken by the Subaru telescope on Mount Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii. Photograph: Tokyo Astronomical Observatory

For some celestial events you really do have to wait almost a lifetime. Jupiter and Saturn met three times in the sky during 1981, but it was while I(...)

A general view of Semple Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The inconvenience of it all peaked for Old Moran when it gradually became clear that the 2020 championship was in all likelihood going to go ahead. It(...)

Palestinian children walk past a mural depicting the coronavirus and a prison cell, in Gaza City during the coronavirus pandemic on April 28th. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty

Gaza’s restaurants and cafes have reopened to permit Palestinians to celebrate both their success in containing the coronavirus and observe the tradit(...)

Juliet Casey teaches a ballet class in Aida Camp, Bethlehem.

Juliet Casey is originally from Walkinstown, Dublin, but now teaches ballet in Palestine. * When did you leave Ireland? I left Ireland at 17, leaving(...)

Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel’s prime minister said this week he wants Israeli labs to reach 5,000 daily tests. Photograph: Gali Tibbon/Reuters

Israel has come up with a novel solution to its critical shortage of kits to test the coronavirus: call in the Mossad. The renowned intelligence agen(...)

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