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."

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.

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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.

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.