Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott, who says his government has had ‘a year of achievement’ and that repealing the carbon tax is his greatest achievement for women. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA

Sometimes a phrase just sticks with a government. Historians will have two great contenders when looking to sum up how last year went for Australia(...)

A boy thows an egg at an image of Vladimir Putin in Kiev in May. Photographs: Sergey Gapon/AFP/Getty

Last year ended with Ukraine on a knife edge. Much has changed since, but the country continues to tumble from revolution to rebel insurgency and i(...)

An anti-Castro Cuban exile in Florida holds a Cuban flag during a protest after the announcement of the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and United States. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

There is certain to have been a degree of ambivalence, albeit largely unstated, in Moscow over the announcement that President Obama is restoring d(...)

An employee looks out over an oil refinery  in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The drop in oil prices is driving a sharp recession in the country. Photograph: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Slumping oil prices have put Russia’s economy on course for a sharp recession and double-digit inflation next year, government ministers said, as auth(...)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked his cabinet ministers to not take holidays this New Year as Russia prepares for recession. Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin/Reuters

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has scrapped New Year holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic crisis.Russian private sec(...)

An employee uses a machine while counting Russian ruble banknotes at a private company’s office in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.

Russia’s rouble rose on Friday to its strongest levels in more than three weeks, in a sharp rebound from its recent all-time lows, after the governmen(...)

The rouble fell to as low as 80 per dollar this month

The Russian rouble rose to a two-week high on Tuesday after the government and the central bank put pressure on large state-owned exporters to sell do(...)

As 2014 ends, the buy-the-dip trade continues to work its magic.Stocks soared last week after the Federal Reserve said it would be “patient” in decidi(...)

Pussian president Vladimir Putin: he’s an ex-KGB man – which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug. Photograph: EPA/Sergei Chirikov

More than a century has passed since Norman Angell, a British journalist and politician, published The Great Illusion, a treatise arguing that the age(...)

Opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, who has been sharply critical of Vladimir Putin. Photograph: Mikhail Voskresensky/Reuters

Russia has blocked a Facebook page calling for a protest in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as the Kremlin tightens its control of the in(...)