Dennis Hastert, speaker of the US House of Representatives from 1999-2007, allegedly paid an individual from his hometown of Yorkville $3.5 million (€3.2 million) to “compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct”. File photograph: Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images

Former speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert has been charged with lying to the FBI and evading banking laws over the alleged paym(...)

Bruce Schneier, chief security officer at Resilient Bruce Schneier, chief security officer at security company Resilient, says the Sony attack, believed to be carried out by North Korea, exposed many of the major risks related to hacking.

Last year’s massive cyberattack on Sony – presumed to have been a nation state attack orchestrated by North Korea – presents many of the most pressing(...)

The Regal Chain said Sony’s decision to ditch The Interview was: “due to the wavering support of the film by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats.” Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images 2:30

In the century-long history of the cinema we have never seen anything quite like the kerfuffle surrounding Sony’s decision to pull The Interview from (...)

A recent “Wall Street Journal”/ NBC News/Annenberg centre poll showed that Clinton was the most admired president of the last quarter-century. Photograph: Luong Thai Linh/EPA

The thing about him is, he just keeps going. At 67 he continues to be, as Anna Quindlen once wrote, like one of those inflatable toys with sand(...)

Brendan Boyle (right) with his brother Kevin, speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and their father, Frank, who is from Donegal.

The son of a Co Donegal emigrant was among the winners picked to lead their parties in the US midterm elections in November as primary voters in six s(...)

The best dystopian novels are really about the societies in which they are written and not exercises in futurology

Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper spontaneously ignites. It inspired the title of Ray Bradbury’s novel about a future in which firemen (...)

Two things are changing how the world views the US. First, Washington’s shenanigans appear increasingly like the way it’s going to be. Obama’s re-election changed little. The 11 months since then have been swallowed by the fiscal crisis, as were the preceding two years.

People say America can afford a domestic seizure every now and then. Yet almost a week into its government shutdown, the nation’s global presence has (...)

A baby sleeps in front of a sign indicating the closure of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park on the first day of a government shutdown in Washington yesterday.

The first US government shutdown in 17 years had been coming for some time, since 2010 in fact when the Democrats lost control of the House of Represe(...)

The price of polarisation
  • US
  • October 2, 2013, 01:00

It is a sign of just how polarised politics have become in Washington that Republicans in Congress have the triggered the first shutdown of the federa(...)

US attorney general Eric Holder: “Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason.” Photograph: Mark Makela/Reuters

In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration has moved to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors not to(...)