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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering