Right-wing ideologues blamed as US risks government shutdown

The last fraught hours of budget negotiations between party leaders in Washington to avert a partial shutdown of the US federal government were being hijacked yesterday at the last minute by Republican demands for new restrictions on legal abortions for women, Democrats claimed.

Berlusconi's senators try to bring fascism back to Italian politics

A group of Italian senators is pressing for a decades-old ban on Benito Mussolini's Fascist party to be lifted in a move that has provoked fierce condemnation from political opponents and Jewish leaders.

The heart of a capital city beats in Turin

This place likes to fuss over anniversaries of the unification of Italy. This year, the 150th, is no different. Adrian Mourby reports

A year on, Obama's healthcare reforms are still a work in progress

Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, that monumental piece of policy architecture – US healthcare reform – is only gradually being turned into bricks and mortar and Americans still aren't sure what to make of it.

Wisconsin Republicans 'exercise nuclear option' to pass union-busting law

The political tumult in Wisconsin reached full tilt yesterday as the state legislature prepared to give final approval to a controversial law stripping nearly all collective bargaining rights from public sector workers and dealing a potentially crippling blow to organised labour groups.

Senator fights to switch off bright lights of Vegas sex trade

What happens in Vegas... could be about to get a tiny bit more respectable. Heated debate has broken out among the good citizens of Nevada after their best-known lawmaker, Senator Harry Reid, called for an end to the free-wheeling libertarianism that has made it the only place in America where prostitution is legal.

Ted Kennedy's 'night in a Chilean brothel' is revealed FBI files

A young Ted Kennedy arranged to rent a brothel for a night while visiting Chile in 1961, a year before he was elected to the US Senate, according to a newly released FBI file.

Victor's Crown, by David Potter

What earthly relevance can ancient Greece, Rome and Byzantium have to today's sports fan?

'Psy-ops' team accused of targeting US senators

The top United States commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has ordered an investigation into allegations that members of a psychological-operations team – known as psy-ops – were ordered to target American Senators and other dignitaries visiting the country to help to persuade them to provide new troops and money.

Students may carry guns on campus in Texas

Texas is preparing to give college students and staff the right to carry guns on campus. More than half of the Texas House of Representatives have signed a measure allowing concealed handguns at universities.

Republican Senator reveals abuse as a child

The Republican US Senator who shook the American political landscape just over one year ago by snatching the US Senate seat in Massachusetts that had been held for decades by the late Ted Kennedy, reveals in a new memoir that he was molested as a child while at summer camp and got into trouble for shop-lifting.

Kerry pushes for US gunman's release

Senator John Kerry was in Islamabad yesterday to push for the release of Raymond Davis, an American consulate employee facing charges over two killings.

Obama to set out painful budget plans for austerity in America

Americans are about to get a first glimpse of what tight-fisted federal government looks like with President Barack Obama releasing an austerity-tinged draft budget this morning even as Republicans move to push through a short-term spending plan featuring a far more radical range of spending cuts.

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Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
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Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
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Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits