David Fickling

The drying up of land sales and the collapse in rates of building have created a new monster that stalks the housebuilding sector: zombie landbanks.

Zombie landbanks threaten to stifle recovery

The day after Nationwide revealed the return of the 125 per cent home loan was an odd time to warn that undue prudence in the mortgage market was preventing a housebuilding recovery.

Home loan squeeze hurts UK builders

When Mark Andrews saw the UK housing market falling through the floor last October, he halted production at his insulation factory in St Helens, Merseyside, for the first time in 10 years.

Toxic mix follows construction shockwaves

In a region used to high-stakes political and military campaigns, Hizbullah's border raid on Israel last week must count as one of the most risky moves in years.

Crossing borders

Once famed for their white-sand beaches, the islands of the Pacific are threatened by a waste mountain. Rubbish now clogs streams flowing into the harbour in Samoa's capital Apia.

Drowning in a tide of waste

Lynton Crosby likes to tell the story of his worst moment in 30 years of political life, just after the polls closed in Australia’s 1998 elections.

Marginals key to victory

When Kevin Webb, accused of murder, was given a week's bail, he went to the Aboriginal community of Nyirripi and submitted to the family of his alleged victim spearing him 13 times.

Bridging whitefella law and clan justice

A dispute over Australia’s history has broadened into a public debate which threatens to change the politics of race.

One country, two histories

But across the region, there is a growing suspicion of a more belligerent Australia which appears to be shedding its pro-Asian consensus in favour of a closer alliance with America.

Asian neighbours riled by Australia’s stance