EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the start of talks in Vienna yesterday. Iran and six world powers began a new round of negotiations aimed at settling the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme by late July. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Iran defended its nomination as ambassador to the United Nations yesterday after hawks in the US senate passed legislation to ban the official (...)

New American citizens pose for photographs after  a recent naturalisation ceremony in New York City. House Republicans met last week to discuss moves to give status to illegal migrants. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Democrats and Republicans are entrenched on most political issues in a deeply divided US Congress but one issue that is drawing them out of their foxh(...)

A cleaner dusts a statue of Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the US, in the Rotunda on Capitol Hill in Washington yesterday as the US government shutdown entered a third week. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

A possible congressional deal to avert a default after the United States reaches a debt limit tomorrow fell apart yesterday as Senate Democrats and th(...)

US president Barack Obama in the briefing room of the White House in Washington last night.  He  said  a government shutdown was entirely preventable and accused Republicans in the House of Representatives of manufacturing a crisis that would hurt the economy and citizens across the country. Photograph: Larry Downing/Reuters

US president Barack Obama urged House Republicans to pass a short-term budget and keep the government open as political opponents were locked in a sta(...)

Pro-immigration reform Bill demonstrators from the Florida Immigrant Youth Network. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Passing the first major overhaul of US immigration laws in more than 25 years faces an uphill battle after conservative Republican opponents re(...)

Members of the “Gang of Eight” drawing up the legislation are led by Democrat Chuck Schumer (centre) and Republican John McCain. (left). Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the US could be excluded from becoming US citizens under proposals being worked(...)