‘The president descended from the mountain for half an hour on Thursday evening, materialising at Nationals Park to schmooze with Democrats and Republicans at the annual congressional baseball game.’ Photograph: Aude Guerrucci/Getty Images

On Saturday mornings, I love to watch reruns of the television Western The Rifleman. Each show is a little moral fable, with Chuck Connors’s widowe(...)

Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the US, next to a photograph taken by his partner, Pascal Blondeau, at his residence in Washington. After a distinguished career in the French foreign ministry, Araud is trumpeting his support for same-sex marriage. Photograph: Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times

I’m a little worried about the French ambassador to the United States. Sure, he’s good-looking and charming and popular and lives in the most romanti(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry, who defended the absence of a high-ranking American leader. Photograph: Rick Wilking/AFP/Getty Images

The Obama White House made the rare move of admitting a mistake by saying that it should have sent a senior leader to join with the heads of 40 count(...)

Central African Republic’s foreign minister Toussaint Kongo Doudou arrives to the podium to speak with the media after voting on a resolution approving UN peacekeepers for the Central African Republic, at UN headquarters in New York. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The United Nations Security Council has authorised the creation of a nearly 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic(...)

People attend a rally in front of Crimean flags at Lenin Square in Simferopol, Crimea today. The Moscow-leaning Crimea region is due to hold a referendum tomorrow on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, with observers fearing worsening violence on the peninsula ahead of the vote. Photograph: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution that declared a planned referendum on the status of Ukraine’s Crimea region “can have (...)

Civilians take shelter at the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan  compound on the outskirts of capital Juba. Photograph: Reuters

The United Nations received reports from local sources in South Sudan today that between 400 and 500 people had been killed and up to 800 wounded in (...)

French soldiers patrol in an armoured personnel carrier during fighting in Bangui, Central African Republic, yesterday. The French army deployed 250 troops to the capital after clashes broke out between former rebels and militias. Photograph: Emmanuel Braun/Reuters

France began a military intervention in the Central African Republic last night, following a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council yesterday au(...)

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said today that the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria would constitute a ‘crime against humanity’ . Photograph: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The United Nations will investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, which would be “a crime against humanity”, secretary-ge(...)