UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement on Tuesday it was “critical that we continue to promote universal participation in the (treaty), by encouraging all states, particularly major arms exporters and importers, to join”. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

A global arms trade treaty that aims to regulate the $85 billion (€70 billion) industry and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers a(...)

American plane  at Shannon: Dermot Ahern, minister  for foreign affairs from 2004 to 2008, said Ireland was one of the first countries to raise concerns with the Americans about whether Shannon was  used as a refuelling stop by CIA-leased aircraft to transfer al-Qaeda suspects and other detainees around secret prisons in eastern Europe and Asia and to Guantánamo. Photograph: James Horan/Press 22

The government received assurances directly from US president George W Bush and his national security adviser Condoleeza Rice that Shannon Airport was(...)

Percy Dukelow lived in London for 20 years, working in the building industry. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

By the end of 1997 Frank Snellings and his wife, Mary Landrieu, had endured almost four gruelling years in US politics. Landrieu, a Democrat, had t(...)

American aid worker Alan Gross, a former Cuban prisoner released on humanitarian grounds, speaks at a news conference with his wife Judy Gross in Washington DC yesterday. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama said the US has chosen to “cut loose the shackles of the past” by normalising relations with Cuba and re-opening economic ties(...)

Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) chair Sir Malcolm Rifkind said the committee would request sight of any redacted sections of the CIA report  related to the UK’s role in the rendition and interrogation of terror suspects. Photograph: PA Wire

The UK’s parliamentary panel investigating allegations of British involvement in torture is seeking access to secret parts of an damning US report int(...)

US house speaker John Boehner (centre) after the passage of the $1.1 trillion spending bill in the House of Representatives. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The narrow passage of a budget in the US House of Representatives to keep the government open came at a price for liberal Democrats but concessions (...)

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 (...)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi en route to Capitol Hill, where she sais she was “enormously disappointed” with the president’s relaxation of post-crisis banking rules. Photograph: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times 0:50

The US House of Representatives narrowly passed a $1.1 trillion (€887 billion) budget just hours before the government was due to shut down at midnigh(...)

Former US president George W Bush and his vice president Dick Cheney, who has dismissed a Senate  intelligence committee report on the ‘brutal’ CIA torture of al-Qaeda detainees during their administration as ‘full of crap’. Photograph:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dick Cheney, George W Bush’s vice president, has dismissed the US Senate report on the “brutal” CIA torture of al-Qaeda detainees during his administr(...)

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(...)