The Government has intervened in the controversy over fracking in Ireland, asking the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study assessing environmental impacts and risks associated with the practice. This will not be ready for at least another year. Above is a sign protesting against fracking   near Belcoo, Co Fermanagh, and Blacklion, Co Cavan. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Estimates for how much natural gas can be recovered using hydraulic fracturing of shale rock may be wildly optimistic and could lead to a sharp declin(...)

A woman holds a poster depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin during a recent protest at the Russian embassy in Madrid against Russia’s new law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”. Photograph: Paul White/AP

A bill to remove parental rights from gays and lesbians who have children has been introduced in the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. (...)

Kimberly McCarthy, who died  by execution last Wednesday. Photograph:  Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Reuters

In the northeast corner of the Huntsville Unit prison complex, Texas’s death chamber blends into other, larger red-brick buildings. It is known as t(...)