Swearing in: Michael D Higgins during his inauguration at Dublin Castle in 2011, flanked by his predecessors Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese. Photograph: Maxwell

It was a Friday afternoon, two days before Michael D Higgins’s visit to France in February 2013. At Áras an Uachtaráin, in Dublin, and the Irish Em(...)

New Speaker of the House Paul Ryan with his predecessor John Boehner: at 45, Mr Ryan is the youngest Speaker in 140 years. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan joked on Sunday that his first job as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives was to rid the smell of smoke fro(...)

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner hugs his successor Paul Ryan in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photograph: AP

Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been elected the 62nd speaker of the House, taking over from John Boehner. Mr Ryan’s ascent comes during a period of chaos(...)

“Refraining from partaking in the petty squabbling among the committee, she appeared statesman-like, presidential even.”Photograph: Somodevilla/Getty Images

Two events in as many days have, to all intents and purposes, handed Hillary Clinton the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The decision of Vice(...)

Paul Ryan: “I believe we are ready to move forward as a one, united team. And I am ready and eager to be our speaker,” he wrote to Republican lawmakers.  Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republican Representative Paul Ryan officially jumped into the race for speaker of the US House of Representatives on Thursday after nailing down cruc(...)

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton defended her handling of the security at the US diplomatic outpost in the Libyan city of Benghazi where four(...)

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has blasted the House select committee  as a “partisan arm of the Republican national committee”  ahead of her appearance before it. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

There have been nine investigations into the deadly attacks on the US outpost in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11th, 2012, and none has unearthed any (...)

Paul Ryan said he was willing to shape the Republican Party into a “proposition party”, shifting away from the opposition and internal strife that has hurt the party in recent years. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The 2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has given divided Republicans until tomorrow to decide whether they will unite behind him as(...)

House majority leader Kevin McCarthy and his wife Judy walk out of the caucus room after he announced  he will not be a candidate for Speaker of the House. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Chaos descended on the US Capitol yesterday after Republican Kevin McCarthy, in a shock move, withdrew his name in the race to become the next Speaker(...)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary  Clinton  appears to be behaving like she might have something to lose in her race to win the Democratic nomination. Photograph: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Hillary Clinton is approaching her presidential campaign with a new abandon. She is showing a more human side by lampooning Republicans on comedy TV a(...)