Boris Johnson defends London's financial sector

Boris Johnson today defended London's financial sector from international criticism in the wake of the latest banking scandal.

Blagojevich was convicted last year on 18 counts, including charges that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old US Senate seat for the state of Illinois

Rod Blagojevich drives off to 14 years in prison

Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois, began a 14-year jail term in Colorado yesterday. The one-time golden boy of Democratic Party politics in Illinois was found guilty of corruption. His immediate predecessor, George Ryan, was jailed for the same reason.

Giffords to resign from Congress

Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Congresswoman who has emerged as a symbol of courage and endurance in the 12 months since she was shot in the head while meeting her constituents outside a supermarket in Tucson, surprised her supporters yesterday by announcing that she is giving up her seat.

Wednesday’s protest was joined by an estimated 7,000 websites, including Google, Wordpress, and Craigslist. More than 4.5 million people put their names to a petition against Sopa

Protests prompt supporters of online piracy bills to back away

The backlash against two bills aimed at stopping online copyright infringement gathered pace last night, as eight US lawmakers announced they had decided to withdraw support for the measures.

Wednesday’s protest was joined by an estimated 7,000 websites, including Google, Wordpress, and Craigslist. More than 4.5 million people put their names to a petition against Sopa

Is Wikipedia winning the war? US Senate slips into reverse after blackout day

Support for new web laws recedes after backlash on the internet

Stephen FoleyTea Party wrangling brings another shutdown threat

Six months after a budget stand-off that came within minutes of shutting the federal government, and barely eight weeks after Congress came within a whisker of defaulting on the nation's debts, the supposedly routine business of governing the US is once again being threatened by political wrangling.

US legend Lewis runs into racism row as he bids to enter politics

Carl Lewis, arguably the world's greatest-ever Olympian, is involved in another running battle – to become a politician. And it is one that is becoming increasingly bitter, his bid for power turning the New Jersey Senate race – normally a humdrum affair – into a high political drama, with charges of racism, illegality, and dirty politicking.

Obama hires new economic adviser

President Barack Obama says he wants his new economic adviser to give him guidance based on what's best for the country, not politics. Mr Obama said Alan Krueger, unveiled yesterday as the new chairman of the White House Council ofEconomic Advisers, would fill a crucial role on the White House economic team.

Lloyd Blankfein's brief encounter

Investors are spooked by the revelation that the Goldman Sachs boss has hired leading criminal lawyers

Carbon credits for farming endorsed

Australia's parliament yesterday endorsed the world's first national scheme that regulates the creation and trade of carbon credits from farming and forestry, complementing government plans to put a price on carbon emissions from mid-2012.

Album: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Mirror Traffic (Domino)

After the brief excitement of the Pavement reunion, Stephen Malkmus is back making amiable but unchallenging off-kilter country rock songs, albeit with great opening lines like "I saw you stripping in your Birkenstocks" and "Would you like to pet my rifle?"

Senators' bargain meals leave sour taste for public

It's not easy to find a good, cheap meal in the centre of Rome these days. Tourists are routinely charged €12 (£10.50) to €14 for a plate of over-cooked linguini and even locals in the know are hard-pressed to find a decent plate of pasta for less than a tenner.

Blow for Obama as bid to oust Wisconsin Republicans fails

A daring effort by Democrats to oust a group of conservative Republicans in Wisconsin's state senate narrowly failed yesterday, a setback that seems to confirm the resurgence of the right nationwide and spell trouble for Barack Obama whose re-election strategy will rest in part on solid support from the Midwest.

EU faces crisis of legitimacy, warns former Europe minister

'Remote' institutions are in urgent need of radical reform, claims Denis MacShane

Senate passes bill to prevent US default

The US avoided a feared and catastrophic default on the American debt, as lawmakers on today passed a measure that ties an agreement to raise the government's capacity to borrow to steep cuts in government spending.

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