Concern over Sudan's candidature as African Union chairperson

Controversy surrounding the future chairperson of the Afican Union (AU) through 2007 is likely to dominate the eighth summit of the African Union (AU) which opened in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday under the themes 'Science, Technology and Scientific Research for Development' and 'Climate change in Africa'. Although candidates for the AU chair, due to be elected on Monday 29 January, have not been confirmed, Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, is expected to be elected to the position.

5,000 'sail' to Cuba to Close Guantánamo

Over 5,000 people from more than 90 countries are participating in an online campaign to persuade the US government to close the country's prison camp at Guantánamo, Cuba. The campaign, organised by Amnesty International, involves a virtual flotilla that will 'sail' to Cuba for the duration of the campaign. The campaign will run until 26 June, International Day for the Protection of Victims of Torture.

Pictures of Clarence Hotel redevelopment released

Plans for a 'dramatic redevlopment and expansion' of the Clarence Hotel, situated in Dublin's Temple Bar, will soon be submitted to the Dublin City Council for consideration. Computer-generated images of the finished development have been provided to Village by the architecture company leading the redevelopment, Foster and Partners.

Gadgets: A slippery slope

Irish people with the financial wherewithal to relieve seasonal affective disorder with a winter ski holiday may have to look to alternative remedies in future. Should environmental responsibility not impel us to reduce air miles, the tonnes of greenhouse gas produced by the ski industry and all it entails will contribute to the receding alpine snowlines and glacial depths. But for those of you already booked on a ski trip this year, here are two gadgets to ensure your whereabouts are known should an avalanche or tree trunk take you by surprise.

Saddam associates hanged

The hanging of two of Saddam Hussein's former aides has sparked further outrage from around the world at the regime's continued capital punishment.  The two were hanged at dawn yesterday on charges of crimes against humanity for the killing of almost 150 Shias in retribution for a failed assassination bid on Saddam in 1982. 

Climate change: a real and present danger

A documentary presented by David Attenborough (BBC 1,Sunday 21st Jan) will present the findings of the largest ever climate prediction project involving simulation programs run on over 54,000 computers. The resulting data was analysed at Oxford University to give the most detailed picture of our likely future climate.

Christmas on the Aran Islands

Christmas was a hectic affair this year for Fr. Ciarán Blake, Inis Mór's parish priest.  There is no parish priest on Inis Meáin, so after reading mass on Inis Mór, Fr. Blake was ferried by a local fisherman, Michael Seoighe, to Inis Meáin where after a choppy crossing Fr. Blake was driven to the church to read Christmas mass for the waiting congregation.

Gadgets: Christmas novelties

Some must-have Christmas goodies for the office. By Malachy Browne and Grace Flanagan

What makes the perfect Christmas present? Diamonds or a Ferrari? What about an mp3 player that looks like it shops where Mr Claus gets his santa suits? With its shiny red case and snowy white earphones, it's like carrying Christmas around in your pocket.