Members of the Knesset guard stand around the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon as he lies in state at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem yesterday. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

It may be a measure of the dimming of hopes for a resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that Ariel Sharon’s death has evoked in(...)

Angela Merkel: approved a coalition pact this week that strengthens workers’ rights, introduces a minimum wage, augments pension rights, and further bolsters regulation in the housing market. Photograph:  Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

It took five weeks to negotiate, including a final, 17-hour session that ended on Wednesday morning, and runs to 185 pages but the coalition deal agre(...)

President Kennedy signs a proclamation for the interdiction of the delivery of offensive weapons to Cuba at the White House on October 23rd, 1962.

John F Kennedy’s reputation, which soared after his assassination, remained exalted enough for more than three decades to keep him ranked in the top 1(...)

Shanghai skyline: diplomats who have had intensive language training might expect to spend a significant part of their careers in a region where that language is important. Photograph: Bloomberg

The mood around Iveagh House, the splendid St Stephen’s Green headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs, is unusually buoyant these days, not (...)

Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz  leaves after speaking following a meeting  of his party caucus on Wednesday. Photograph: Getty Images

Fresh from his victory this week, which saw congressional Republicans unconditionally surrender over the government shutdown after 16 days, President (...)

The main focus of the SPD’s concern appears to be Angela Merkel’s support for the use of the European Stability Mechanism to directly recapitalise ailing banks across the euro zone

Reports that Ireland’s tax policy has become an issue in coalition talks in Germany between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the cen(...)

Lawmakers in Washington after voting to guarantee that federal workers will receive back pay once the government reopens after its shutdown. Public opinion is likely to turn further against Republicans as the full impact of the interruption to many federal services is felt. Photograph: Drew Angerer/The New York Times

Last weekend was unseasonably warm in Washington, with temperatures above 30 degrees, but sweaty tourists on the National Mall seeking a respite from (...)

Veteran US political activist and intellectual Noam Chomsky has warned that the European Union’s response to the economic crisis has left European democracy in a worse condition than that of the United States. Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

The veteran US political activist and intellectual Noam Chomsky has warned that the European Union’s response to the economic crisis has left E(...)

Noam Chomsky. “The oil dictatorships, the countries that the West really cares about for obvious reasons, their uprisings have been suppressed very harshly and very successfully, with western support.” Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty

For a man of 84 who has described himself with approval as “a boring speaker”, Noam Chomsky meets a daunting schedule of public appearances, sp(...)

The strategy:Early yesterday morning, minutes before he took the stage in Chicago for his victory speech, Barack Obama sent out a mass email to his s(...)