Leadership candidate: Joan Burton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘The leader’s role in election victories and defeats is greatly exaggerated,” says Archie Brown. “In a very, very tight contest the relative popularit(...)

 The meeting in London takes place in the wake of Lakhdar Brahimi (centre) announcing that he is stepping down as UN envoy for Syria. Photograph: EPA

In a bid to revive the diplomatic option for resolving the Syrian conflict, US secretary of state John Kerry is to meet European and Arab counterparts(...)

St Joseph’s Home, Termonbacca, in Derry. The inquiry into historical institutional abuse at this and another Derry home began in January. Photograph: Trevor McBride

Three former residents at two Derry homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth have spoken positively at the North’s historical abuse inquiry about the care(...)

G4S employs 3,000 people in Ireland, and it is the country’s largest security provider. The London Stock Exchange listed company has 600,000 employees worldwide. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

G4S, the British security services firm, is one of at least three privately owned companies who plan to bid next Friday for JobPath contracts that (...)

An employee walks past a stacker as it loads crushed iron ore at a processing facility in the Solomon mining hub in Western Australia. The mining industry, along with mining-related activities, accounts for almost 20 per cent of Australian GDP, and 10 per cent of employment. Photograph: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

When Tony Abbott swept to power last month, he declared in his victory speech that Australia “is under new management and . . . once more open for bus(...)

Protesters burn pictures of Australian prime minister Tony Abbott during an anti-spying protest outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Recent evidence that the Australian government has used phone tapping mechanisms to spy on the Indonesian president and first lady, has caused a rift between the two countries. Photograph: Oscar Siagian/Getty Images

Tony Abbott will be very happy to get to Christmas after a testing first three months as Australia’s prime minister – happy that Australians are about(...)

Surfers carrying their boards walk past two women sunbathing and a sign warning swimmers of dangerous surf conditions on an autumn day at Sydney’s Manly Beach today. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

After 22 years of unbroken prosperity, Australia now faces “serious economic challenges”, the inaugural Australia Lecture in Dublin heard last nigh(...)

Stephen Schwarzman: has contributed €73 million to his scholarship programme

Wall Street mogul Stephen Schwarzman, whose Blackstone firm is one of the most biggest global players in the private equity business, held a groundbre(...)

Tony Abbott was sworn in as Australia’s new prime minister and promised immediate action to slow the stream of asylum seekers arriving by boats from I(...)

Australia's new man

‘The people voted for change and change they will get.” Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister-elect, is most adamant that he will see his new mandat(...)