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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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine