The state flag of Mississippi, which incorporates the   Confederate flag , is displayed with the flags of the other 49 states and territories in the tunnel connecting the senate office building and the US Congress. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Confederate flag has meant different things to different people over the years in the United States. It is far more than just a diagonal blue cros(...)

Pope Francis has  warned that failure to act over climate change would have “grave consequences for all of us”. Photograph: Getty

Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the(...)

‘The president descended from the mountain for half an hour on Thursday evening, materialising at Nationals Park to schmooze with Democrats and Republicans at the annual congressional baseball game.’ Photograph: Aude Guerrucci/Getty Images

On Saturday mornings, I love to watch reruns of the television Western The Rifleman. Each show is a little moral fable, with Chuck Connors’s widowe(...)

The Obama administration had acknowledged that up to 4.2 million current and former employees whose information resides in the Office of Personnel Management server are affected

Hackers linked to China have gained access to the sensitive background information submitted by millions of intelligence and military personnel for se(...)

US President Barack Obama walks through a hallway after meeting with House Democrats at the US Capitol  in Washington. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Barack Obama suffered a humiliating defeat on his planned free trade deals as Democrats in the House of Representatives rebuffed a last-minu(...)

Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr, one of three dissenters on the vote, said the “decision is a first. Never before has this court accepted a president’s direct defiance of an act of Congress in the field of foreign affairs.” Photograph: AP

In an important separation-of-powers case, the American Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that would have allowed American parents of children(...)

Hillary Clinton at Texas Southern University, Houston, where she delivered her most aggressive speech since she announced she was running for president.  Photograph: Pat Sullivan/AP Photo

Republican senator Ted Cruz was firing up conservatives gathered to support his colleague Pat Roberts, who was struggling to hold on to his US Senate (...)

The US government’s bulk collection program was first revealed by documents obtained by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden

The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would end the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, the most significant surveillance r(...)

Interviews with US law enforcement and intelligence officials  suggest there are multiple workarounds to a gap in intelligence that has opened up  due to a lapse in US counterterrorism laws. File photograph: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters 1:10

For the first time since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, Americans will again be free to place phone calls to friends,(...)

President Barack Obama, who wants congress to pass the USA Freedom Act on Sunday.

President Barack Obama has made a plea to Congress to pass a bill that limits some NSA surveillance powers, saying it would be “irresponsible” and “re(...)