Fire crews try to control the blaze at Mt Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina. Photograph: Clarendon County Fire Department/Reuters

US investigators are examining the cause of a series of fires at black churches across the southeastern United States over the past two weeks. The (...)

A man watches a television broadcast of US president Barack Obama speaking, in Havana on Wednesday. Mr Obama said the US would increase contacts with the Cuban people and engage with the Havana government, civil society and ordinary Cubans. Photograph: Enrique de la Osa/Reuters

The United States and Cuba have agreed to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, officially restoring diplomatic relations more than a half centur(...)

US president Barack Obama. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The US and Cuba have agreed to open embassies in each other’s capitals, as the countries bid to restore ties after more than 50 years of hostilities. (...)

Subaru needs to make greater strides in the engine department. The  gearbox strains and bellows under full acceleration

As the late, great Frank Gorshin would have said, “Riddle me this, riddle me that”. Riddle me how a car company, which utterly trounces Volkswagen (...)

The unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photograph: Mike Brown/Reuters

A rocket which exploded shortly after takeoff on Sunday in Florida was the third loss of a cargo ship headed to the International Space Station in the(...)

Book-ears by Orla Kerr

Icing on the cake in Florida If cake decorating is your thing, either creating beautiful edible art or just watching those mesmerising US TV sho(...)

‘I was warned that a lot of responsibility comes with writing to a prisoner because in many cases that’s all they have’: Angel Cullinane, who writes to and receives letters from a prisoner on death row. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In one sickening wave after another, the details of Elaine O’Hara’s murder trial kept coming earlier this year. Yet it was only afterwards that one(...)

Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof (21) into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina. Roof  is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. Photograph: Jason Miczek/Reuters. 0:56

In the hours after the Charleston shooting, a portrait began to take shape of suspect Dylann Roof as someone with racist views and at least two recent(...)

Republican US presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Miami on Monday. Photograph: Joe Skipper/Reuters

Jeb Bush, the son of one president and the brother of another, formally launched his campaign to put a third Bush in the White House by flaunting his (...)

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is entering a presidential contest vastly different in size, pace and cost to those which his father and brother took part in. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Nearly 27 years after his father was elected president, moulding a political dynasty that would propel one son into a governor’s office and another in(...)