Both pro- and anti-choice sides were dumbfounded by the outcome. The accused had been acquitted, the accusers indicted. The spectacular backfire might have been less of a surprise (although would still have been surprising) in Manhattan or San Francisco. But in Sheldon country?

Until just last week, the only thing many of us knew about Harris County is that it is located in east Texas, where Sheldon Cooper comes from. Sheld(...)

An Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus,  photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.  Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP

A case of Zika virus infection transmitted by sex, rather than mosquito bite, has been discovered in Texas. The Dallas County health and human service(...)

A young supporter wears campaign stickers on her face as Democratic presidential candidate  Hillary Clinton speaks during a ‘get out to caucus’ event at Washington High School on January 30th in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Iowa caucuses: how they work
  • US
  • February 1, 2016, 11:51

The battle for the US presidency shifts into a new gear with the start of states’ caucuses and primary elections in February 2016, beginning with the (...)

St Elijah’s Monastery, one of the earliest Christian settlements, and the oldest in Iraq, near Mosul, in 2009. Isis has damaged or destroyed scores of historic sites and monuments as part of a campaign to eradicate remnants of cultures it considers anathema to its extremist vision of Islam. Photograph: Eros Hoagland/New York Times

Islamic State destroyed one of the oldest Christian sites in Iraq as part of its campaign against ancient sites in the country, according to satellite(...)

Barack Obama: “We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one?” Photograph: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

President Barack Obama said today he would meet with the US attorney general to discuss ways of reducing gun violence in the United States amid report(...)

China’s first domestically-developed electrically-powered light aircraft (Rui Xiang RX1E). The two-seater airplane is made of a carbon-fibre composite material and is powered by an electric motor running on lithium batteries, with each recharge using only 10KW at a cost of about 80 cent. Photograph: Chinafotopress/Getty Images

Manned, electric planes are flying into the mainstream. Manufacturers in Europe, the US and China are now awaiting certification in order to commercia(...)

Facade of the New York Times headquarters building on 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Photograph: Thinkstock/Getty Images
NYT editorial: ‘The Gun Epidemic’
  • US
  • December 5, 2015, 10:45

All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies ar(...)

The San Bernadino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook pictured in his Californian  driver’s licence.  The shooting  rampage by Farook and his wife  Tashfeen Malik   left 14 dead. Photograph: California Department of Motor Vehicles/Handout/Reuters

It happens all too often and the response – and lack of any follow-up action to prevent it happening again – is all too familiar. It is easy to list o(...)

Another day, another slaughter

When Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik gunned down 31 people, killing 14 of them, in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday they took t(...)

FBI and police investigators examine evidence at the scene of the investigation around the area of the SUV vehicle where two suspects were shot by police following a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California December 3rd, 2015. Photograph:  Mike Blake/Reuters

Investigators are searching for the motives behind why a husband and wife allegedly opened fire with military-style weapons, killing 14 people and wou(...)