US president Barack Obama: said that goal was to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State forces. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

The words “Obama” and “gaffe” rarely appear together. The US president’s statements are carefully crafted, his words precisely chosen. He is as pol(...)

An Islamic State militant uses announces to residents of Taqba city that Tabqa air base has fallen to his group. Photograph: Reuters

Senior Republicans yesterday called for expanded air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and for the first time in Syria, to destroy th(...)

James Foley: the journalist came from an Irish-American family in Rochester, New Hampshire. Photograph: AP Photo/Steven Senne, File 1:10

UK intelligence agencies are seeking the identity of the masked man with an English accent who was filmed beheading US journalist James Foley in Syr(...)

Tom Steyer, center, a billionaire environmental activist who wants to blast the issue of climate change to the front lines of American politics, at the NextGen Climate Action office in San Francisco. Photograph:Jason Henry/The New York Times

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer will give a boost to 2014 political candidates from seven US states who work to combat climate change, c(...)

Dennis McGuire, a murderer and rapist, was executed with an untested combination of drugs by the state of Ohio on January 16th. Photograph: Ohio department of rehabilitation and corrections via the New York Times

America Letter: Ohio’s execution of convicted murderer Dennis McGuire earlier this month with a new two-drug experimental concoction has stirred up(...)

Can doctors overdiagnose? At first glance it seems like a silly question. Surely diagnosis is one of our prime functions as medics? Patients expect it(...)

A bill currently being debated by the US Senate would compel internet sellers making over $1 million a year to pay a sales tax for every(...)

Clapboard home: the poet Robert Frost. Photograph: Eric Schaal//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

At Robert Frost’s old home in Franconia, New Hampshire, there was a skunk under the deck, deer in the garden, and bears in the forest. I could (...)