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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

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The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

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If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

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Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
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The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?