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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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project