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A prisoner in solitary confinement has his hands shackled before his cell door is opened at a penitentiary in California. Photograph:  New York Times

The US prison system has marked a grim anniversary. This is of the decision, 30 years ago, to impose a state of indefinite lockdown at Marion penitent(...)

Actor and comedian Steve Coogan, joins (left to right) Cathy Belton, Tadhg Bowen aged 5, Sean Mahon and Ruth McCabe at the screening of the film Philomena at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin last night. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Actor and producer Steve Coogan spoke last night about how his Irish Catholic upbringing in Manchester informed his new film Philomena. Coogan turned (...)

Sr Monica, Sr Jacinta, Sr Veronica and Sr Kelly Francis of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal with Fr Joe Campbell of St Mary’s parish, Drogheda. Photo: Colin Bell/pressphotos.ie

The story of Christianity in Ireland appears to be coming full circle, at least in its Roman Catholic manifestation. Four nuns, three of them children(...)

Four nuns from the United States last night formally replaced the Sisters of Mercy at St Mary’s parish in Drogheda. The event was marked by a Mass in St Mary’s, concelebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan (above) and the Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith. Photograph:   John Moore/Getty Images)

Four nuns from the United States last night formally replaced the Sisters of Mercy at St Mary’s parish in Drogheda. The event was marked by a Mass in (...)

Sorm chasers observe yesterday’s tornadic thunderstorm in Cushing Photograph: Gene Blevins/Reuters

Nine people were killed in tornadoes that swept through central Oklahoma, part of a storm system that caused widespread flooding in Oklahoma City and (...)

Firefighters on the scene of a CSX Corp derailed train car carrying chemicals after being struck in Rosedale, Maryland. Photograph: Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/Reuters.

A freight train carrying hazardous chemicals and a variety of other materials collided with a truck northeast of Baltimore yesterday, injuring the tr(...)

Danielle Stephan holds boyfriend Thomas Layton as they pause between salvaging through the remains of a family member’s home in   Moore, Oklahoma, on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Rescue efforts in the tornado-ravaged Oklahoma City suburb of Moore continued through the night with officials increasingly confident that ev(...)

Jeff Nichols crept up on us. Lucky old us. In 2007, a fortunate few were clever enough to catch a powerful southern melodrama named (...)

Investigators comb the site of the second of two bomb explosions on Boylston Street in Boston. Photograph: Eric Thayer/The New York Times

A letter addressed to US president Barack Obama containing a substance that initially tested positive for the poison ricin was(...)

Elephants from the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus line up for a photo under the Brooklyn Bridge in the Brooklyn Borough of New York last month. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

An elephant in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been injured in a drive-by shooting in Mississippi. The 39-year-old(...)

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