An armoured water truck cleans the street of debris after the East German government ordered construction work to strengthen the border crossing at Heinrich-Heine- Strasse (aka Checkpoint Delta) on the Berlin Wall, December 4th, 1961 A car drives between US tanks, in October 1961, across the famous borderof the US sector in Berlin, at Checkpoint Charlie crossing point which was used by diplomats and foreigners
How the Wall was built

Like its collapse 28 years later, the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 was precipitated by a flood of refugees from east to west but that exodu(...)

Thousands of young East Berliners on the Berlin Wall, near the Brandenburg Gate on November 11th, 1989.

The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989 was the most dramatic in an extraordinary sequence of events that led to the collapse of communism i(...)

A gay couple strolling past the graffiti on a remaining section of the Berlin Wall in  August 1993. Photo: Steve Eason/Getty Images)

In August 1986, 25 years after the Berlin Wall was built and just three years before it came down, the West Berlin radio station I was working for (...)

US president Barack Obama meets his national security and public health teams in the Roosevelt Room at the White House yesterday. Photograph:  Mark Wilson/Getty Images

1. The voters are mad as hell...but Republicans are less crazy than before. Tuesday’s heavy losses by Democrats in the Senate, the House and governors(...)

A view of the northern Gaza Strip as seen from the Israeli farming community of Netiv Haasara last month. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

On July 23rd, two weeks into Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, Brazil condemned what it called a “disproportionate use of force” and with(...)

A resident of Tabqa city touring the streets on a motorcycle waves an Islamist flag in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, in nearby Raqqa city August 24, 2014. Islamic State militants stormed the air base in northeast Syria on Sunday, capturing most of it from government forces after days of fighting over the strategic location, a witness and a monitoring group said. Fighting raged inside the walls of the Tabqa air base, the Syrian army's last foothold in an area otherwise controlled by IS, which has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq. REUTERS/Stringer   (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A few months ago few in the West had heard of Isis, the Sunni militants known at different times as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and as Islamic (...)

‘The most thoughtful comment from any leading politician came from Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a libertarian Tea Party favourite who currently leads the field of potential Republican presidential hopefuls.’  Photograph:  Scott Olson/Getty Images

The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, has dominated media in the US fo(...)

A US flag flies in front of the Brandenburg Gate, near the US embassy in Berlin. Germany’s expulsion of the CIA station chief in Berlin is close to a diplomatic nuclear option and is unprecedented in the postwar history of German-US relations. Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty Images

A few years before he died in 2006, the former East German spy chief Markus Wolf, known as “the man without a face”, told me about the qualities he(...)

Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi (l) shakes hands with European Council president Herman Van Rompuy as they arrive to commemorate the centenary of the start of the first World War, in Ypres. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

While the slow-motion motorway pile-up of British prime minister David Cameron’s attempt to block the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Co(...)

Badge of honour: supporters of Hillary Clinton are preparing for a presidential run. Photograph: Astrid Riecken/MCT via Getty

Hillary Clinton insists that she has yet to decide if she’ll run for the presidency in 2016 but her campaign has been hard at work for months, raising(...)