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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss