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.

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
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Arts and Entertainment
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'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
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Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
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Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?