US Senate

Obama exploits Republican rape gaffe in Congress race

As Republicans struggle to regain their footing in the storm unleashed by comments on rape made by a conservative congressman from Missouri, President Barack Obama has signalled that he intends to give them no help with biting remarks delivered at a New York fundraiser.

Leaked documents on $250m Mitt Romney fortune fuel Republican crisis

The Presidential campaign of Mitt Romney was rocked again yesterday as his private wealth came under fresh and unfriendly scrutiny in the media even as Democrats continued to exploit embarrassment created by comments from a conservative congressman in Missouri on rape and abortion.

Republicans' bare cheek on Israel trip

Nobody needs to be reminded that the Sea of Galilee in the Holy Land has special significance to Christians as the place where Jesus walked on water. Now, however, a new historic marker may need to be erected on its shores: "Here in 2011 swam a gaggle of inebriated US Republican Congressmen, one in the buff."

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.

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.

US Senate blocks latest Republican debt plan

US lawmakers, facing a potentially calamitous government default in just days, held votes that highlighted their intense partisan divide and did little to end a torturous political standoff.

US debt plan fears hit world markets

The US House votes tonight on a plan to avert an American default, but conservatives in the Republican-dominated lower chamber, Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama were all lined up against the measure.

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Cameron concedes that health reforms should be ripped up

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will today endorse wholesale changes to the Government's controversial health reforms, giving patients the "right to challenge" poor services for the first time and guaranteeing them a choice of doctors and treatments.

David Cameron sets out NHS reform changes

David Cameron set out the first significant changes to the Government's controversial NHS reforms today as he admitted ministers had "learnt a lot" in recent weeks.