Q&A: US shutdown - all you need to know about the crisis in America

Not all government functions will simply evaporate — Social Security cheques will still get mailed, and hospitals will stay open. But many federal agencies will send their employees home, from the Environmental Protection Agency to hundreds of national parks. Here’s a look at how a shutdown will work.

Helen Thomas: Fearless veteran White House correspondent

Each profession has a handful of ground-breakers, and for American journalism, Helen Thomas was one of them. When she set out, women were confined to writing about family, fashion and tips on cooking. By the end she was the uncontested doyenne of the White House press corps, traditionally the summit of the trade.

Google challenges US surveillance gagging order

Google has asked the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court to allow it to publish details of the number of data requests made by a secretive body, invoking the first amendment in a legal challenge that is aimed at easing concern among users following recent revelations regarding the activities of the National Security Agency.

More headlines

International Women’s Day: fearless, female and a force to be

Hey ladies, it’s our day today. Some might say that half the population need more than just 24 hours... and we’d agree. But with global events shedding light on women’s rights, and Michelle Obama recognising extraordinary heroines, it’s a small step in the right direction.

Boxing: David Price is left stunned by early clip around the ear

David Price's world – and perhaps his world heavyweight title ambitions – came crashing down in the Liverpool Echo Arena last night when the previously undefeated British champion was sensationally beaten in two rounds by American veteran Tony Thompson.