President Obama will forgo five per cent of his salary

Barack Obama forgoes 5% of salary to 'show solidarity' with government workers

Barack Obama is to forgo 5 per cent of his official salary in a move designed to show common cause with government workers hit by the so-called sequestration – budget cuts that are eliminating overtime for some and forcing others to take an unpaid leave of absence.

Councils spends £2m on a bus stop: for that price I'd want Mick Jagger singing 'Gimme Shelter'

Global austerity means that local councils and town mayors are having to cut their coats according to their cloth.

Senator Robert Menendez in spotlight over campaign funds

Prostitute recants sex claims against Senator Robert Menendez

Call-girl withdraws allegations after admitting she was paid to make it all up claims New Jersey Democrat in clear over sex orgy scandal but is still under investigation

Keystone pipeline: Was environmental backlash over the top?

The proposed creation of a pipeline - the Keystone XL - to carry oil from Canada into America has become a rallying point for US environmentalists. They argue it will damage wildlife and prolong America's dependence on fossil fuels. But a State Department draft report released Friday stated: "there would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route." Here's a selection of the American media's response.

Pete Domenici was among those who tried to get Bill Clinton impeached in 1999 - he admitted this week that he sired a child with the daughter of a colleague

I've got a love child, admits senator Pete Domenici who tried to get Bill Clinton impeached

A Republican stalwart, now 80, has owned up to a 1970s liaison with the daughter of a colleague

On the ball: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin

Washington Redskins – time for a name change?

Out of America: US sports teams are dropping Native Indian-inspired names that are viewed as racist

From Mr Normal to chef-de-guerre: How President Hollande found his appetite for leadership

After an uncertain start, intervention in Mali has bucked the President's approval ratings

An embassy security guard arrives at the Gate 2 of the US embassy just minutes after a suicide bomber has detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy

Police investigate cause of Mexico City office blast that killed 32

Explosion in Petroleos Mexicanos headquarters initially blamed on a gas boiler

President Barack Obama pushed ahead yesterday with his choice of the former US Senator Chuck Hagel as America’s next Pentagon chief while nominating his anti-terror advisor, John Brennan, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Chuck Hagel was chosen by Obama because they agree war is always a last resort

Veterans of the Drip will remember that we flagged up a brilliant piece by the New York Times' David Brooks explaining why Chuck Hagel was chosen for the Pentagon. Brooks argument was simple and persuasive. The huge costs of Obamacare will put intolerable pressure on America's budget. Defence spending will need to be cut. Therefore Obama needed a Republican war veteran as political cover.

Page 3 Profile: Jacob Lew, US treasury secretary nominee

The man to replace Tim Geithner?

Book critics vie for Hatchet Job of the Year award

They might be much-lauded grandees of the literary world, but Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Naomi Wolf were all gleefully cut down to size by acid-tongued reviewers last year. The critics responsible are now vying for their own honour: that of Hatchet Job of the Year.

A poll shows more Americans favour stronger gun laws after the Newtown massacre

More Americans favour strong gun laws after Newtown

Stronger gun laws are favoured by 58 percent of Americans, the highest percentage in eight years, according to a national poll conducted after 20 elementary school students were gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut.

Mark and Debra Tice, the parents of Austin Tice, an American journalist who has been missing in Syria since August 2012

Captive reporter's family pleads for release

The family of American freelance journalist Austin Tice, who was taken captive in August while covering the Syrian civil war, appealed Thursday for his release, saying loved ones yearn to have him home for the holidays.

Romney's campaign expenses came in at $45m

Rip-off Romney: How it cost $1,000 a day to follow Mitt

What price a night with Mitt Romney? Now you could probably have a Michelin-starred dinner with change from £100 (Mitt doesn't drink) but when the 2012 US Presidential election was at its epoch back in October, you wouldn't get much change from $1,000 (£615). And you'd have to share your meal with Romney's exhausted campaign staff.

Pentagon builds military network to rival the CIA

The Pentagon is planning a major expansion of America's international spy network, creating a new generation of undercover agents to get a better handle on critical issues such as China's growing military might and the rising influence of fundamentalist militants in Africa.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
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