Nikhil Kumar

Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.

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Shareholders want Bill Gates's Microsoft exit

Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in the mid-seventies and went on to build the business into a software behemoth that shaped the digital lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The Stature of Liberty was one of the monuments affected by the shutdown

US shutdown: ‘I don’t understand it, there’s no excuse for this is there?’ More bewilderment than disappointment for tourists

For the Hedbergs, a family from Sweden visiting New York, the sign at the head of the path that leads down to the ferries to Liberty Island – home to the Statute of Liberty – was more cause for bewilderment than disappointment.

Shares slide on fears of a US shutdown

Investors on Wall Street fled the stock markets on Monday, triggering sharp declines on major indices as political gridlock in Washington looked set to force a partial shutdown of the US government for the first time in nearly two decades.

The federal trial over the 2010 spill has resumed

BP ‘lied’ over true extent of its Gulf oil disaster

Second phase of trial opens with claims of negligence and lack of preparation

Indyplus update: First US government partial shutdown in 17 years begins as Congress fails to strike budget deal before deadline

Partisan gridlock in Washington has triggered a partial shutdown of the US government, with Republicans and Democrats failing to agree a deal to keep federal agencies funded past a midnight deadline.

Q&A: What is the US shutdown?

What is the shutdown?

UN investigates further chemical weapons attacks inside Syria

Three cases suspected­ after regime’s strike on outskirts of Damascus on 21 August that prompted US threat of military action

JP Morgan chief faces the music in person

It was an unusual sight: the boss of America's largest bank travelling to Washington for a face-to-face meeting with the US Attorney General to settle the lender's legal troubles.

Facebook shares break $50 on the back of mobile ads success

Facebook's shares closed above the $50 mark yesterday, continuing their onward march as the social media giant's success in making money from mobile ads lures investors back into a stock that, when it floated last year, swiftly plunged below its offer price on worries about being overvalued.

The President was speaking at a community college just outside Washington

Republican debt-default threat is crazy, says President Obama

Barack Obama has denounced Republican moves to potentially use the threat of a disastrous debt default by the American government to delay funding for his signature health reforms as “crazy”, saying he would “not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America”.

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'