Children from 21 countries wear Halloween costumes as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance after becoming American citizens during a naturaliSation ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland on October 31st. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republicans are preparing a response to Barack Obama’s plans to change the immigration system. The aim to block the president’s go-solo actions, whic(...)

In 1982 Brian Farrell presided over the first ever televised leaders’ debate  in a general election, between the then heads of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, Charles Haughey  and Garret Fitzgerald  respectively. 4:23

Brian Farrell made an enormous contribution to Irish political life through his work as a broadcaster and an academic.Nobody else before or since has (...)

Freckle-faced golden boy: Tony O’Reilly, at the height of his success, in 1999. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty

If a novelist made up the life of Tony O’Reilly the subsequent book review would surely consider it too perfect: the freckle-faced golden boy who b(...)

President Barack Obama answering questions in the White House yesterday. He said he is “eager to work with the new Congress to make the next two years as productive as possible”. Photograph: Larry Downing/Reuters

President Barack Obama said Republicans “had a good night” in Tuesday’s midterm elections but attributed the party’s sweeping wins to the public’s di(...)

Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin in Zabriskie Point

Good grief. It must have been genuinely terrifying to be old, weary and conservative in the United States at the end of the 1960s. Sure, Nixon had jus(...)

Sen Rand Paul: “When is the last time in our country we created millions of jobs? It was under Ronald Reagan.” Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Even if Republicans take the Senate this year, gaining control of both houses of Congress, they will not gain much in conventional terms: they’re a(...)

On July 13th, 172,000 concert-goers filled two venues in London and Philadelphia, raising over £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia
1985: The year that was...

Famine, the cold war and the threat of Aids cast long shadows over 1985, the year of the Live Aid concerts.On July 13th, 172,000 concert-goers filled (...)

 An undated handout photograph provided by GlobalPost oshows American journalist James Foley who was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in  Syria. The Islamic State (IS) militia released a video on 20 August 2014 purporting to show the decapitation of Foley. Photograph:  Nicole Tung / Courtesy of Global/EPA 1:10

US president Barack Obama has said the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants “shocked the conscience of the entire w(...)

Former White House press secretary James Brady gives a thumbs-up to everyone as he visits the White House press briefing room in Washington in this  2011 file photograph.

The death of former White House press secretary James Brady, who was shot in the head in the 1981 assassination attempt on president Ronald Reagan, ha(...)

James Brady, selected by president-elect Ronald Reagan to become his press secretary, talking to reporters after the announcement was made in Washington in 1981. Photograph: Walt Zebowski/AP Photo

James Brady, who has died aged 73, was the principal victim of John Hinckley’s attempt to kill American president Ronald Reagan. The bullet that lodge(...)