Official figures have revealed that the number of assaults at health service facilities is on the rise. Sadly, for those working in the NHS, the statistics won't come as much of a shock.
It is safe to say that our new Finance Minister Conor Murphy has a very big in-tray of policy challenges. Top of that list is fixing business rates and addressing the huge concerns with the 2020 rates revaluation.
The end of a decade is always a time to reflect. My children are shocked that this is the sixth decade in which I have been alive and I refuse to accept it is 20 years since the new century celebrations were in full swing and the millennium bug turned out not to be quite the world-ender it was billed to be.
New Decade, New Approach has been greeted by the so-called 'dissident' republican base without much enthusiasm either way. After a three-year suspension, the content of the deal fails to provoke much of a response among a base who are fundamentally opposed to Stormont.
It wasn't quite the Chuckle Sisters, but there was no shortage of smiles and solidarity exchanged between the two women now leading Northern Ireland's new power-sharing Executive.
There were moments when it looked and felt like a parallel political universe: so much smiling, civility and congratulations you could be forgiven for forgetting that the Assembly hasn't actually met for three years and that for most of that time the DUP and Sinn Fein sniped and snarled at each other on an almost daily basis.
At the start of the week I tweeted: ' I still get no sense whatsoever of the sort of deal which would make it possible for the main parties to work in honest cooperation to implement a commonly agreed Programme for Government. Doesn't mean a deal won't be done, it just won't be one worthy of popping champagne corks.'
As Northern Ireland greets 2020, just a year shy of the centenary of the foundation of the state, there will be many who hope DUP leader Arlene Foster means to deliver on her new year message of making the province a place at peace with itself and which the majority of people, unionist and nationalist, can feel comfortable in.
The annual release of British secret state papers relating to Northern Ireland is a fascinating read for both politicians and historians. And if current revelations do not throw up any shocking surprises, they at least act as a reminder of what we came through 30 years ago.
It seems like it was only yesterday that I wrote in the Tele... Where did that year go, what with 2019 just upon us? Now, here I am again, wondering where the last 12 months went? I may not be any the wiser but I am, unfortunately, another year older and it seems, with each passing year, time flies at an alarming pace.
Some people like New Year's Eve while others loathe it, both for the same reason, as it is a time for reflection. It is also a time for resolutions, to be kept or not, and for such adventures as a Dry January after so much Christmas overindulgence.
The peace process started on the assumption that Northern Ireland was a strange and different place. Other parts of the UK and, indeed, the wider world did not agonise about identity the way we did. The character of the nation in which you lived was determined by the prevailing culture and the votes of the electorate.
Once upon a time, back in 1998, the Irish people listened to its better angels and generously supported the Good Friday Agreement. In spirit, the Agreement said we would stop tormenting Northern Protestants about a united Ireland until they showed they wanted unity.
the revelation that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warned Sir John Hermon, the then Chief Constable, that she would no longer "send her boys over in waves to be killed" reminds us of the important truth about the release of State papers under the 30-year rule.
I'm in too good a mood to hurl myself crossly into writing my annual list suggesting who should be deported from Northern Ireland. In England, where I live, Boris Johnson has already made an awful lot of people feel cheerful.
Einstein famously said that the definition of madness was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The Policing Board should take a hint.
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