An Islamic State fighter destroys ancient objects  from Palmyra, as others watch on in the town of Manbij, northeast of Aleppo. Photograph: Kim Doo-Ho/AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian air force responded on Friday with heavy bombing to a fresh offensive in the northern city of Aleppo mounted by fundamentalists united in(...)

US navy crewman points to a computer screen purportedly showing Chinese construction on the reclaimed land of Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photograph: US navy/Handout/Reuters

China is close to completing a 3,000m-long airstrip on one of its artificial islands in the disputed Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, new (...)

In one of the most bizarre twists in America’s war on terrorism, the CIA assigned veteran operations officer Harold James “Jim” Nicholson to run a cou(...)

Marijuana enthusiasts gather after midnight to celebrate the legalisation of recreational use of marijuana in Portland, Oregon. Photograph: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

Crowds counted down the minutes to midnight then lit up joints as smoking marijuana became legal in Oregon on Wednesday and the legalisation movement (...)

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. (...)

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gives a statement  on the situation in Greece, at the EU commission headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: Reuters/Yves Herman

Jean-Claude Juncker took to the podium in the packed European Commission press room yesterday, but his focus was not the swarms of journalists that(...)

 Roger Casement.

A symposium on Roger Casement in London and a three week festival in Washington DC are among the events which have been announced for the internationa(...)

The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, where a three-week festival, Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture, will take place next year. Photograph: Getty Images

The lead-up to the centenary of the 1916 Rising presents many opportunities to reflect on the diverse and complex history of this island. And think(...)

The state flag of Mississippi, which incorporates the   Confederate flag , is displayed with the flags of the other 49 states and territories in the tunnel connecting the senate office building and the US Congress. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Confederate flag has meant different things to different people over the years in the United States. It is far more than just a diagonal blue cros(...)

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. As Syriza points out, Greece – just one border away from Islamic State-held territory – looks like a beacon of stability in a difficult neighbourhood. Photograph: Reuters

In February, when Greece’s new Syriza-led government reassured its lenders by agreeing to talks on its funding arrangements, the Italian economy minis(...)