Several US states have had to search for new drugs for their lethal injection cocktails after many pharmaceutical companies, mostly in Europe, imposed sales bans about four years ago because they objected to having medications made for other purposes being used in executions.  Photograph: Federal Bureau of Prisons/Reuters

Lawmakers in Utah voted on Tuesday to bring back executions by firing squad if lethal injections are unavailable, which would make it the only state i(...)

A scorched mesquite tree is seen among the thousands of acres that burned from wildfires during a severe drought outside Jayton, Texas, in 2011. Photograph: Elliott Blackburn/Reuters

The US south-west and the Great Plains will face decade-long droughts far worse than any experienced over the last 1,000 years because of climate chan(...)

Andrew Quarless  of the Green Bay Packers leaps into the crowd after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter of the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 11. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

‘How can you not be romantic about baseball?” asks Brad Pitt in Moneyball and for all of the well-documented ills in American football – the brain inj(...)

Charles Warner is seen in an undated picture from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Photograph: Oklahoma Department of Corrections/Reuters

With a renovated death chamber, new training and a higher dose of drugs, Oklahoma on Thursday carried out its first execution since April, when the sl(...)

 Maryland governor Martin O’Malley (left) with president Barack Obama. Mr O’Malley has cancelled death sentences for four prisoners. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

A US governor has cancelled the death sentences of the last four inmates awaiting execution, almost two years after the state became the 18th to do a(...)

Aftermath of a 2013 storm in the US which spawned more than 80 tornadoes across the United States and killed 35 people. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Tornadoes unleashed by thunderstorms along the US Gulf Coast ripped through southeastern Mississippi on Tuesday, killing four people, injuring many an(...)

Scientists say data showing gold-winged warblers left their nesting site in the mountains of Tennessee a day ahead of a tornado ‘heard it coming’. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

A group of songbirds may have avoided a devastating storm by fleeing their US breeding grounds after detecting telltale infrasound waves, according to(...)

The fall in oil prices could represent the equivalent of a trillion-dollar tax cut for the global economy. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

As recently as August, barely four months ago, it was possible to describe Ireland’s economic recovery as “tentative”. Two pieces by this columnist – (...)

Children from 21 countries wear Halloween costumes as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance after becoming American citizens during a naturaliSation ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland on October 31st. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republicans are preparing a response to Barack Obama’s plans to change the immigration system. The aim to block the president’s go-solo actions, whic(...)

The US Supreme Court’s decision to let stand lower court rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states is a major and welcome advance for the caus(...)