Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin has published a Private Members’ Bill calling for the mandatory employment of the long-term unemployed and apprentices in State contracts(...)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan. A letter outlining the US Chamber of Commerce’s objections to the European Commission on the Government’s plans to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products was handed to the Minister’s private secretary at a chamber-hosted business breakfast in Washington on Tuesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

One of America’s most powerful business groups, the US Chamber of Commerce, has lodged an objection with the European Commission on the Government’(...)

 Chinese President Xi Jinping:  reform plan. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The leading European business lobby group, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, has called on Beijing to speed up the process of economic (...)

Demonstrators hold up a sign  reflecting the protester chant of ‘Don’t shoot’ during a rally in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing earlier this month of teenager Michael Brown.  Despite the Brown family’s continued call for peaceful demonstrations, violent protests have erupted nearly every night in Ferguson since his death. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images 1:06

Neglecting lessons of past civil disturbances such as the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, police inflamed tensions that have fuelled more than(...)

The recent Mercosur summit in Caracas, Venezuela. Photograph: EPA

After being stalled for years, trade talks between the EU and the South American bloc Mercosur are showing signs of life, with a deal that could have (...)

Food products manufactured by Nestle  sit for sale inside a supermarket in Moscow, Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

European Union regulators today began analysing product-by-product the impact of a Russian ban on EU food imports announced in retaliation for Western(...)

The bill for Ireland could run into the hundreds of millions, according to  Exane BNP Paribas. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Ireland could have to pay hundreds of millions in compensation to tobacco giants if plain packaging is introduced, according to Exane BNP Paribas. The(...)

Rice growing in India. New Delhi is unhappy with the progress of talks on food security

The Indian government is threatening to block the implementation of a deal struck in Bali last year by trade ministers from around the world, in a mov(...)

Flying the flag: ‘Fantasy’ politicians may propose in opposition what it would be impossible for them to deliver were they in government. Photograph: Reuters

Politics does not need to be false and full of hypocrisy: it is the pressure of our current moment that makes it so. We profess a belief in the power (...)

The Republic will be the focus of massive attention to see whether it comes up with a workable formulation of this latest anti-smoking measure: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Despite yesterday’s landmark Cabinet decision, it is likely to be some years before plain packaging on tobacco products becomes a reality.Aside from t(...)