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

James Moore: Pull out of the EU? We’d just be trading one set of problems for another

Outlook: The cost of payday loans today means that they are a thoroughly bad thing for most people

Default fears grow as talks on US debt ceiling go to wire

The cost of insuring against a catastrophic US default jumped to its  highest level in more than two years today after talks to prevent a breach of the nation’s $16.7 trillion (£10.5 trillion) debt ceiling faltered.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde

US budget battle: IMF's Christine Lagarde warns America's lawmakers they risk pushing world into recession

Stark warning from IMF chief comes as search for deal to extend debt ceiling shifts to Senate

Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud was captured last weekend

US capture of Taliban leader 'violates Afghan sovereignty'

Talks to decide the future of US involvement in Afghanistan continued last night, amid tensions over a "military operation" in which American forces "forcibly removed" a senior Taliban commander from an Afghan government convoy.

Statue of Liberty and Grand Canyon to reopen despite US government shutdown

Tourist attractions in the US including the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Mount Rushmore will soon re-open, despite the continued shutdown of the country's government.

Supporters of the Affordable Healthcare Act hold posters critical of the Tea Party

Obama considers Republican deal to extend borrowing power and resolve shutdown

Some federal services to reopen as moderates appear to gain upper hand over Tea Party

John Boehner asked Republicans to follow him in allowing a short-term increase in the debt ceiling

No deal: Republicans and White House fail to reach agreement on short-term debt-ceiling extension

Failure of House speaker John Boehner's proposal to extend America’s borrowing means government shutdown continues

Washington shutdown hits thousands of staff at British contractors

Around 2,000 employees of three of Britain's biggest companies have been prevented from working as a result of the US Government shutdown.

Corruption at Detroit's City Hall: America's dirtiest mayor jailed for 28 years

Kwame Kilpatrick oversaw the downfall of the now-bankrupt city that was once the beating heart of US car production

Christie came close to entering the ring in 2012

'I can walk and chew bubble-gum at the same time': Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, drops big hint that he will run for US presidency

His remarks, made during a debate with his Democrat challenger for the governorship, were the clearest signal yet that he will seek the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016

President Obama nominates current vice chair Janet Yellen as new head of Federal Reserve

If she replaces Ben Bernanke, Ms Yellen would be the first woman to lead the American central bank

US shutdown: Markets drift on IMF warning over global economy

Global stock markets drifted Wednesday as news the Federal Reserve's vice chair will be nominated to head the US central bank gave only a slight lift to investor sentiment darkened by an IMF warning on the global economy.

ASEAN summit: John Kerry presses China and neighbours on maritime issues at Brunei summit

US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Brunei for meetings with top officials from China and its smaller Southeast Asian neighbours, in which he will urge all countries to cool tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Barack Obama and John McCain make one of their final campaign appearances

Barack Obama and the Republican Party are engaged in an existential battle

No winner can come out of this stalemate with their head held high

Nick Clegg delivers his speech in east London

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: We heard Nick Clegg’s apocalyptic rhetoric on Europe loud and clear

Nick Clegg’s first words were “I hope you can all hear me”; puzzlingly, since he was speaking through a microphone and there were only a couple of dozen of us in the audience.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn