BHP’s demerger plans, unveiled yesterday by Andrew Mackenzie, underscore the changing mood in mining over the past 18 months. Photograph: Bloomberg

BHP Billiton, the world’s most valuable miner, is to break itself up via a stock market spin-off, signalling an end to years of deals and expansion dr(...)

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma   at the US-Africa leaders summit  in Washington. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The US is committed to renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which in its present form expires next year, South African president J(...)

What is fracking? Fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – is a means of extracting natural gas from sedimentary rocks such as shale. The process involve(...)

File photograph of tourists lining the Dublin parade on St Patrick’s Day. Dublin has been voted the 5th friendliest city in the world.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

It seems that Ireland’s long-held reputation for being welcoming is not just staying but improving as Dublin has been voted the fifth friendliest city(...)

Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius arrives for the closing arguments of his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria today. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/EPA 2:12

South African state prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked the judge in Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial today to reject the Olympic and Paralympic track star’s def(...)

Juan Smith of Toulon dives over to score a try during the Heineken Cup Final between Toulon and Saracens at the Millennium Stadium thhis year in Cardiff. Photograph. David Rogers/Getty Images

Juan Smith, who last year retired from rugby due to an Achilles injury, has completed a remarkable comeback after being drafted into the South Africa(...)

In June, billionaire investor Warren Buffett  (left) described Chuck Feeney (right) as “my hero,” when presenting him with a Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement award for pledging to give away billions during his lifetime to numerous causes in Ireland and overseas. 4:27

Irish American philanthropist Chuck Feeney’s dream of giving his entire multibillion fortune away to fund good causes is proving harder because of (...)

US president Barack Obama: to announce African investment plan at US-Africa Business Forum. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

American companies pledged new investment in Africa today as part of $14 billion (€10.4 billion) in construction, clean energy, banking and informatio(...)

Weslh captain Sam Warburton, who currently has no club to play for sits with head coach Warren Gatland and forwards coach Robyn McBride. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Colm O’Neill

Warren Gatland returned to Wales this week from his holiday in New Zealand one year out from the start of three World Cup warm-up matches but his prep(...)

Sir Trevor McDonald:  “Especially as this city has known the privilege of welcoming our commonwealth brothers and sisters to the Games just past, it is right that we pause now to remember their contribution.”

For the Rev Laurence Whitley, there were no answers, only questions, as he stood in Glasgow Cathedral to begin the UK’s commemoration of the outbreak(...)