In the first State of the Union address after the September 2001 attacks on the US, President George W  Bush branded Iraq, Iran and North Korea as “an axis of evil”, adding that “by seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger”. These words later haunted Republicans after Bush was found to have invaded Iraq on a false premise. File photograph:  Win McNamee/Reuters

The annual State of the Union speech to the joint session of Congress gives the US president an opportunity to underscore past policy achievements and(...)

‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay: ‘This is art; this is a movie; this is a film. I’m not a historian. I’m not a documentarian.’ Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Reuters

I went on Friday morning to see Selma and found myself watching it in a cinema full of black teenagers. Thanks to donations, DC public school kids (...)

From left: Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott look on as Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King III, shakes hands with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When Martin Luther King dreamt, he wished for a world of equality where the content of one’s character would trump the colour of one’s skin. An ugly s(...)

What were your cultural highlights of 2014? Michael Longley’s beautifully fragile evocation of life, death, nature and memory in The Stairwell.(...)

According to Forbes, best-paid actor Robert Downey jnr earned $75 million last year while the top 25 hedge fund managers took home, on average, almost $1 billion each. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Half a century ago, a classic essay in the New Yorker titled Our Invisible Poor took on the then-prevalent myth that the United States was an affluent(...)

Former US presidents George W Bush (L) and George HW Bush wave before an American football game last November. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

I can’t wait to read the book W won’t write. Crown Publishers startled everyone last week by announcing the 68-year-old W has written a “personal biog(...)

Chris O’Dowd received the nomination for best performance by an actor in a leading role for his performance in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” opposite Hollywood star James Franco.

Irish actors Chris O’Dowd and Sarah Greene have been nominated for Tony Awards, Broadway’s answer to the Oscars. O’Dowd, from Boyle, Co R(...)

John Lewis: he said he had been arrested about 40 times during civil rights campaigns and Montgomery police chief Kevin Murphy, in 2013, was the first police officer to apologise. Photograph: Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

When US congressman John Lewis, the civil rights leader who walked beside Martin Luthe(...)

People line up for a food giveaway programme at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California, recently. Disposable income in the US and Britain is much more unequally distributed than in France, Germany or Scandinavia. Photograph: Reuters

Most people, if pressed on the subject, would probably agree that extreme income inequality is a bad thing, although a fair number of conservat(...)

Few can be unaware of the current commemoration of the outbreak of the first World War, the calamity from which all other 20th century disaster(...)