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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent