News Barack Obama told a crowd at a Costco store the country was moving on

Jobs and wages will be the main battleground of November’s mid-term elections

Matthew Giarmo of Alexandria, Virginia, holds up a sign seeking a job on a street corner in Washington, DC

Obama says Republicans are using 'extortion' to end US government shutdown and raise debt ceiling

Speaker of the House, John Boehner, was asked to put a no strings attached deal on the table

Fresh turmoil in The Maldives as election results are annulled

Supreme Court says poll in which Mohamed Nasheed won highest number of votes suffered irregularities

If America is exceptional among nations, it has to prove it – constantly

There was quite the flap here last month when Vladimir Putin dared suggest in an article in The New York Times that America’s long-held credo that it is “exceptional” among nations is wrong and even dangerous. This country’s sense of superiority was being challenged. But how can Uncle Sam hold his head up in the current mess?

Girl Reading (Malala Yousafazi) by Jonathan Yeo is to go on show at the National Portrait Gallery

Malala must not fall victim to our expectations

As Barack Obama found out, receiving a Nobel Peace Prize can come with a set of unintended and unpleasant consequences

Republican house speaker, John Boehner, has sought put the blame on President Barack Obama

No end in sight to US shutdown as John Boehner blames President Barack Obama for stand-off

Almost a week into America’s government shutdown, positions seemed only to harden on Sunday as the Republican house speaker, John Boehner, refused to rule out the stand-off over the federal budget spilling over into negotiations on the debt ceiling, again raising the spectre of America defaulting on its debt.

Social Democrat (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Minimum wage may be forced on Angela Merkel to build 'grand coalition'

German leader’s potential coalition partners seek concessions before forming a government

Postcard from... Berlin

Mutti (or “Mummy”) knows best, as Germany’s recent general election proved beyond doubt. It handed Angela Merkel a huge victory, yet one which was not quite big enough for her to secure an absolute majority for her ruling conservatives.

John Boehner: The Republican House Speaker is expected to seek a deal on the debt ceiling

'This isn't some damn game': Tempers fray in US enters fifth day of government shutdown

Republicans and Democrats continue to blame each other as shutdown crisis worsens

Sterling is sliding on worries over US stand-off

Sterling slipped against the euro today as traders’ fears rose that the US political budget stand-off could take the steam out of the British economy's recovery.

Ukip was runner-up in three out of this week's four by-elections

Ukip finishes runner-up in three by-elections as Labour makes shock gain

Labour scored a shock gain in the latest council by-elections. Candidate Fiona Brown took her party from nowhere to victory at Chapel St Leonards in Lincolnshire's East Lindsey District.

Q&A: Resolving the US shutdown

Resolving the shutdown is important, for the longer it drags on, the greater the risk to the US economy, which remains weak. A drawn-out squabble over a stopgap budget would hit consumer spending, for example, as the furloughed federal workers tighten their belts. But in the short term, attention is turning to the debt ceiling because the federal government will hit its Congressionally mandated borrowing limit no later than 17 October.

Obama spoke to construction workers in Maryland about the crisis

US shutdown: Barack Obama cancels Asia tour as political deadlock continues

President refuses to give in to Republican demands over heath-care reform, with decision to skip economic summits an indication that no resolution is likely to come soon

Government union workers demonstrate on the side of Constitution Avenue

US shutdown and looming debt crisis talks between President Obama and Congressional leaders fail to break the policy deadlock

Two issues become entangled as intelligence officials warned the situation 'seriously damages' their ability to protect the country

Silvio Berlusconi in feverish talks with senators in Italy’s Parliament at the confidence vote

Silvio Berlusconi pulls plug on attempt to defeat coalition as his own MPs fail to back him

Former premier performs U-turn by declaring confidence in Letta government in one of the worst humiliations of his 20-year political career

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'