Members of the Senate return from their holiday to tackle the fiscal cliff

Senate leader warns fiscal cliff deal unlikely

Prospects of a deal to pull the American economy back from the "fiscal cliff" appeared dimmer than ever tonight after the Democratic leader of the Senate admitted that attempts to agree an alternative to the automatic tax and spending changes due to kick in next month were likely to fail.

Wayne LaPierre The NRA chief was accused of making a ‘revolting’ and ‘tone-deaf statement'

'If it's crazy to put police in schools, then call me crazy'

NRA's LaPierre unrepentant despite condemnation of his pro-gun speech

Missouri man 'drew gun after Sandy Hook argument'

A man in Missouri faces assault charges for allegedly drawing a weapon outside a barber shop and shooting at another customer after an argument about the Sandy Hook massacre.

Mary Dejevsky: Why I would want to carry a gun in the US

Now is not a good time to admit this, but when I went to Washington as correspondent in 1997, I had two ambitions. The first was to become proficient in Spanish – for demographic reasons that are even more obvious now than they were then – the second was to learn to shoot.

Why I would carry a gun in the US

First, there's self-defence. Then the high principle of states trusting their citizens

US growth rate revised up to 2.7%

The Commerce Department said today that growth in the third quarter was significantly better than the 2 percent rate estimated a month ago

Team Romney prepares for power and patronage

Romney has promised to do two things on his first day in office – and there are plenty of jobs to fill

I may run for White House, says Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton has hinted that she may run for political office in the US while refusing to rule out a challenge for the presidency.

Debate: Now the pundits take a pounding

Hot on the heels of the first televised debate of the US Presidential election came a contest that political followers of both sides wanted to see: Bill O'Reilly take on Jon Stewart.

Mitt Romney and his wife in California; the Republican candidate is preparing for a presidential debate this week

Ann Romney: 'I'd be worried for his mental well-being'

In TV interview, candidate's wife admits her fears if he should win White House race

Gatsby actor's own father to play his on-stage dad

A cardiologist with no acting experience might not usually be a theatre director's first choice for a key role. But when John Collins was looking for someone to portray the father of the title character in an enactment of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, he went straight to the real-life dad of the actor playing Gatsby.

Bob Dylan's a hit at the White House

Bob Dylan, who once wrote that "even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked", has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.

Christine Lagarde: The IMF's boss has raised total lending resources by $430bn.

Osborne signs £10bn cheque for new bailout loan to the IMF

After clutching his cards close to his chest for weeks, George Osborne showed his hand yesterday. What the Chancellor revealed was a $15bn (£10bn) cheque for the International Monetary Fund.

Obama's secret service agents sent home after 'prostitution' probe

A dozen US Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to provide security for President Barack Obama at an international summit have been relieved of duty over alleged misconduct.

Barack Obama has gone into full re-election mode as Mitt Romney lengthens his lead in the Republican presidential race

Obama and Romney square up as Republican rivals fade

The reek of rhetorical gunpowder hung over Washington last night as Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama abruptly hurled themselves into the 2012 battle for the White House regardless of the lingering presence of other rivals for the Republican Party nomination.

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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week