US Senate

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.

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.

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.

Politicians to vote on last-minute debt deal

Congressional leaders scrambled for enough support from skeptical lawmakers to push through an 11th-hour deal to raise the US borrowing limit and avert a potentially devastating debt default.

Juan Maria Bordaberry: Uruguayan politician whose concessions to the

Although he was the elected civilian president of Uruguay in the 1970s, Juan María Bordaberry bowed to pressure from the military and agreed to what South Americans call an autogolpe, a self-imposed coup d'état against his own government, turning himself overnight into a dictator. On 27 June 1973, citing the threat of "Marxist subversives," notably the country's Tupamaro guerrillas, he dissolved the legislature, declared all political parties illegal and gave the military greater powers to lock up, torture and even murder leftist opponents. His model, he said, was a franquista system, based on that of General Francisco Franco in Spain.

Richard Long: Human Nature, Haunch of Venison, London

The world has many mysterious stone circles. Who made them? And why? We never really know. Their mystery is part of their charm. They are symbols – but of what exactly? Now we have two more. These two have cropped up – or bedded down – in a pair of 19th-century rooms in Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, and they sit on polished parquet floors beneath coffered ceilings. These stone circles, unlike the others, are not old at all. They are by Richard Long, our most celebrated land artist. Land artists make their art in reverential partnership with nature in the raw. They use wood, stones, slate, mud. They often make it in the land itself so that it gets slightly lost, as if to tell us that it is really part of its environment. This land art in Mayfair has made the journey from outdoors to indoors.

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Rick Santorum joins race for president

Former senator Rick Santorum has confirmed he is running for president, joining a crowded field of Republicans looking to challenge Barack Obama in next year's election.