News

Why sloths descend from the safety of the trees once a week to go to the toilet has baffled scientists - but one specialist thinks he has the answer

Weir drops Ludowici bid

Weir has walked away from a £260m takeover battle for the Australian mining equipment maker Ludowici after being repeatedly outbid by a Danish rival, FLSmidth.

Kazakhstan voters go to the polls

Voters go to the polls today in the oil-rich Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan in elections that are expected to slightly broaden democratic representation in parliament's rubber-stamp lower house.

The sea's rapid disappearance, coupled with an unstable terrain, has become a major concern for environmentalists

Now you Dead Sea it...

Israel would like the salt lake to be declared a wonder of nature. But years of neglect and exploitation mean it is shrinking before our eyes, Donald Macintyre reports from Ein Gedi

Small Talk: Strategic Minerals puts tax concerns aside in Queensland

It has now been a week since the announcement by the Australian government of sweeping plans to curb carbon emissions, with Canberra unveiling a levy on the country's biggest polluters. The continent boasts a vast mining industry, and the news has been met with disappointment among industry groups. Some big- name miners also weighed in, agreeing with the principle of tackling climate change, but not so receptive to the idea of the planned tax on their operations.

Rare-earth metals not so rare after big Pacific find

China's dominance of the production of rare-earth metals, which are used in everything from iPods and flat-screen TVs to missiles, could soon be at an end after Japanese researchers said they had found massive deposits of the minerals on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Earth matters: Anna Pavord's mulching masterclass

You can shower it in fertiliser and TLC, but a plant is nothing without decent soil

Al Fayed threatens to 'take council to hell'

Mohamed al Fayed today vowed to take Surrey County Council to court if plans to extend a sand quarry on greenbelt land are successful.

Leading article: Better off with the United Nations

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) appears to have disgraced itself once again. In 2004 the reputation of peacekeepers in the country was blackened by reports of UN soldiers sexually exploiting underage local girls. And this week it emerged that UN forces did nothing while as many as 150 civilians – including babies – were raped and assaulted by rebels just 19 miles from their base in the east of the country.

FD quits Timis mining group

Craig Smith is to step down as the chief financial officer of African Minerals, an Aim-listed miner which struck a $1.5bn investment deal with China last month.

Business Diary: The incompetent insider dealers

To succeed at insider dealing – not that we condone it, mind – you need someone to whom you have no obvious link to trade on the secret information you're supplying. This seemed to slip the mind of Jeremy Burley, the managing director of BMS Minerals, a Ugandan company that supplied equipment to the UK's Tower Resources. When he discovered Tower was about to announce a setback on one of its oil fields, Mr Burley told his contact back home to sell his considerable shareholding in the company. They were caught – and fined yesterday by the Financial Services Authority – possibly because the pair were just a little bit linked: Mr Burley's UK share trader was one Jeffery Burley, his dear old dad.

Timis's African Minerals agrees $1.5bn Chinese deal

African Minerals, the mining group with assets in West Africa, has signed a deal with a Chinese steel-maker for a $1.5bn (£989m) investment that will help to develop what its controversial chairman, Frank Timis, says could be the biggest iron ore mine in the world.

Bureau Veritas buys Inspectorate from 3i

The French certification company Bureau Veritas is to buy the British commodities testing and inspection company Inspectorate for £450m in a deal that it predicts will boost its earnings from this year.

Afghanistan's untapped minerals 'worth $3 trillion'

Afghanistan's untapped mineral wealth is worth at least $3 trillion – triple a US estimate, according to the government's top mining official, who is going to Britain next week to attract investors to mine one of the world's largest iron ore deposits.

Afghanistan's resources could make it the richest mining region on earth

Afghanistan, often dismissed in the West as an impoverished and failed state, is sitting on $1 trillion of untapped minerals, according to new calculations from surveys conducted jointly by the Pentagon and the US Geological Survey.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us