The US Congress approved an annual defense policy bill on Friday that has been sent to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

The US Congress approved an annual defense policy bill on Friday that authorizes American training for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting Islamic State (...)

US president Barack Obama  is unlikely to heed external calls for CIA torturers to be held to account and prosecuted.  Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The firestorm sparked by the US Senate report into brutal CIA torture of al-Qaeda suspects during the George W Bush era and claims that the agency lie(...)

US president Barack Obama, seen through a teleprompter,  at the White House in Washington yesterday, where he announced new actions to invest in and expand access to high-quality early learning opportunities across the country. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Simon CarswellWashington CorrespondentThe firestorm sparked by the US Senate report into brutal CIA torture of al-Qaeda suspects during the George W B(...)

Brendan Archbold regarded the Dunnes Stores strike against apartheid as “the finest example of trade union solidarity ever”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Brendan Archbold, a trade union activist and campaigner for social and human rights who has died aged 67, will probably be best remembered for his rol(...)

The ambitious governor of New Jersey Chris Christie: labelled the ban on pig gestation crates a “solution in search of a problem”. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Amid the recent uproar over white cops escaping criminal charges for killing black men on the job, you may have missed two of the stranger political s(...)

A Nasa image showing the launch of Orion and Delta IV heavy rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, earlier on Friday. The vessel orbited Earth twice. Photograph: EPA/Nasa 2:31

The US spaceship designed to one day fly astronauts to Mars made a near-bullseye splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Friday, wrapping up a flawless, un(...)

The funeral of Igor Rozlutskiy, a Ukrainian soldier who was killed fighting in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. Photograph:  EPA/Photomig

Russian forces are still operating in eastern Ukraine, providing the backbone of separatist rebels fighting the Kiev government, Nato’s top military c(...)

Dolls depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin and US president Barack Obama  on display at a street market in Kiev yesterday.  The leaders of the separatist movements in eastern Ukraine were declared the elected ‘heads’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic after winning disputed elections on Sunday. Photograph: Tatyana Zenkovich/EPA

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have staged swearing in ceremonies for their leaders after votes dismissed as a farce by Kiev, which says(...)

Astronaut Greg H Johnson: ‘There are so many possibilities, I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be some intelligent life’ [in outer space]. Photograph: Tom Pennington/Getty Images) 3:12

US astronaut Greg H Johnson became the 472nd person in space when he piloted the US space shuttle Endeavour on a mission in March 2008, a decade after(...)

Debris from SpaceShipTwo lies on the road in Mojave, California. The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crashed  during a test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another. Photograph: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Investigators looking into what caused the crash of a Virgin Galactic prototype spacecraft that killed one of two test pilots said an 8km path of debr(...)