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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future