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Cabinet meetings under Margaret Thatcher were “miserably disappointing” gatherings devoid of debate and filled with “unctuous self-satisfaction”, one her most senior ministers said in 1984.

Boehner faces double challenge that will define his leadership

Dangling pizza slices when members of your own party are refusing to do your bidding might have seemed like a bright idea to John Boehner late on Thursday, but it didn't work. Thin crust or deep pan, they were not enough to spare the Speaker of the House the biggest humiliation of his career.

White House hits out at Republicans over debt crisis

A frustrated White House said Republicans on Capitol Hill were guilty of "crazy" and "juvenile" political posturing as they prepared to push through a bill designed ostensibly to end America's debt crisis, but only for six months. It would guarantee a replay of the stand-off at the end of this year.

The Business On... John Boehner, House Speaker

Can you pronounce that, please?

No deal yet over US default as deadline looms

An immediate deal to prevent the United States from falling into a devastating default remained out of reach today as political factions - congressional Republicans, Democrats and President Barack Obama - remained unable to overcome differences on spending and taxes.

President Obama calls Republicans' bluff on budget crisis

A forthright President Barack Obama told Republican leaders yesterday it was time to take hard decisions to resolve America's budget crisis and that he would refuse to sign a stop-gap package simply to avoid defaulting on the country's $14.3trn (£9trn) debt. The moment is nigh to "eat our peas". he said.

Obama holds talks today to thrash out deal on federal debt

Banks tell politicians to stop playing chicken with markets as Treasury deadline approaches

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's $500,000 jewellery bill

The US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has come under attack from fellow conservatives over his views on healthcare and a reported $500,000 jewellery bill.

Amsterdam - up in smoke?

Amsterdam’s relaxed attitude has long been a draw for tourists. But as the city bans visitors from its infamous coffee shops, one resident, Senay Boztas, wonders if the high times are over

Newt Gingrich to run for president

Former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich is to run for president.

The Business On... Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the US President

The woman Wall Street loves to hate?

Out of the West Wing – and into City Hall?

On the eve of Chicago's mayoral election, David Usborne joins Rahm Emanuel's campaign team for the final push

Obama's $1 trillion cuts 'not enough'

President Barack Obama proposed a budget yesterday that would cut the US deficit by $1.1 trillion (£690bn) over the next 10 years, but Republicans said it did not curb spending deeply enough.

Obama's budget freeze gets a chilly reception

One day after a State of the Union address that called for compromise and conciliation, President Obama faced instant headwinds as an offer to freeze domestic spending for five years got short shrift from Republicans and new projections had the federal deficit growing to $1.5trillion (£940bn).

Spare us the sob story: The lost art of stoicism

From Republican candidates to reality TV contestants, you can't move for weepers. But is visible emotion to be applauded? Peter Stanford thinks we need to reclaim the lost art of stoicism

Andreas Whittam Smith: A revolt against the ruling elite

For some years, the American electorate has been voting consistently against the party in power
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Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
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Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
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mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
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Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us