The murder of 'King Rat' Billy Wright

Billy Wright was murdered in the Maze prison two days after Christmas Day 1997. The notorious paramilitary was shot while sitting in a van awaiting transport to the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) visiting area in the Maze. The 37 year old was accompanied in the van by two prison guards when it was ambushed by three INLA prisoners, two of them armed. The assassins climbed through a hole in an "undetected and unobserved section of security fencing" between the prisoners' yard and a low roof. They crossed the roof onto the forecourt where the van stood.

Public and OECD urge government to meet aid commitment

The vast majority of Irish people believe the Irish government should spend more than it currently does on overseas development aid (ODA). A new survey shows high support for meeting Ireland's ODA commitment of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI), even among marginalised groups. Ireland currently contributes 0.54% of GNI in ODA. By Malachy Browne.

The findings were published today by Dochas, the umbrella group for Irish non-governmental development organisations. The survey, conducted by MRBI Ipsos, sampled 1,000 Irish people over 15 years of age. 


Bahrain Diary: 'Too much Honky Ponky'

For a Muslim country, the number of women who work as prostitutes in Bahrain is remarkably high. The sale of alcohol and sex are divisive issues that could spell trouble during October's parliamentary elections. By Malachy Browne

Extreme weather events are not taken lightly by devout Muslims. They regard them as messages from God - either to reward good deeds done, or to reprimand moral transgressions.

Oman Diary: The Sultan Qaboos - a grand mosque

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said is considered a benevolent leader by most Omanis. Since 1970, when he wrested control from his father, Qaboos has transformed Oman from a third world country into a modern society. He continues to undertake social reforms and ambitious infrastructural and cultural projects. Not least among these is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque off Sultan Qaboos Street (his name is promiscuously attributed to Oman's finest achievements). By Malachy Browne.

Oman Diary: Catch of the day

Early morning at the small coastal town of Barka, 50 miles west of Oman's capital Mustcat. Since daybreak fishermen have been arriving in boats laden with the night's catch. They moor along the shore beside the fish market, known by locals as the souk. The traditional fishing boats - called huris - pitch and roll in the small waves; fisherman balance inside, dividing the catch into plastic crates and passing them to merchants. Crates are carried to the merchant's stall where the haggling with the punters begins.

Conservatives win first refusal in Lib Dem coalition

Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have lost seats in this general election and remain Britian's third-ranked political party. But with a hung-parliament, Clegg alone will choose the design of the next British parliament. By Malachy Browne.

Results indicate that no party will win the 326 seats required for an overall majority in the British general election. At the time of writing, the Conservative Party won the most number of seats at 292. Labour returned 251 MPs, the Liberal Democrats returned 52 MPs and 27 seats were won by other parties.

Hidden Voices: A powerful rebuke of migrant exploitation

An emotive film documentary telling the personal stories of migrant domestic workers in Ireland was launched this evening by the Domestic Workers Action Group (DWAG) in association with the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI). By Malachy Browne.

Hidden Voices: Stories from Behind Closed Doors exposes the exploitative conditions under which domestic workers often live and work, in particular among some of Ireland’s wealthiest households.

(The full version of Hidden Voices will be uploaded to in the coming days.)