Romantic versions: an 1880 engraving depicting a US party in search of the missing Arctic explorer John Franklin and his team
What Canada – and John Franklin – can teach the UK about the independence game
By Noah Richler - 16 September 15:31

In the fortnight in which one of Franklin’s lost ships was found in the Canadian arctic, and Scotland – like Quebec before it – is voting on independence, the parallels between the UK and Canada have never been stronger. 

A military official announces Barack Obama's arrival at the Nato Summit in Newport, Wales. Photo: Getty
With his foreign policy, Barack Obama is trying to win by playing a loser’s game
By Ian Leslie - 04 September 15:54

If you’re playing a loser’s game, strategy is unnecessary. You avoid errors, but in dangerous times risk being buffeted by events.

Murder: a protester outside Buzz Westfall Justice Center where a jury began looking at the circumstances surrounding the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Photo: Getty
Welcome to America, where police shoot an unarmed black man six times – and then call him a villain
By Laurie Penny - 21 August 13:31

What is happening in Ferguson is about more than Michael Brown and his family. It’s a shadow play of a national crisis in race relations and class repression.

Demonstrators protest the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Photo: Getty
Amid the tear gas and arrests of reporters in Ferguson, we must not lose sight of Mike Brown
By Musa Okwonga - 14 August 14:55

The shooting of an unarmed black man by police in the small town of Ferguson, Missouri has provoked civil unrest, media fury and a debate about the community’s reaction. But riots, reporters' arrests and black anger are not the issue here – the death of Mike Brown is.

Taking the phrase “war on crime” rather too literally. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Michael Brown, Ferguson and the United States' police-soldiers
By Robert Macquarie - 14 August 13:21

Over the past few decades, US police departments have invested heavily in military-style equipment and training. The turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri shows the results.

Police fire teargas in Ferguson, Missouri. 13th August, 2014. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Why are US police firing tear gas and rubber bullets in Ferguson, Missouri?
By George Gillett - 14 August 12:41

Armoured vehicles, journalists arrested and protestors shot at – a summary of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of teenager Michael Brown.

A demonstrator runs for cover in Ferguson, Missouri as police fire tear gas. Photo: Getty
Too many in the US view the events that led to Michael Brown’s death as the consequence of his own behaviour
By Garrett Albert Duncan - 14 August 12:08

A core American cultural value that gives priority to property rights over human rights informs the indifference towards the lives of especially young black men and women.

Miami-Dade county election officials check voting machines for accuracy. Photo: Getty
The “restroom row” in Miami is the latest attempt to make it harder for minorities to vote
By David Millward - 29 July 10:54

The Florida county – pivotal in the 2000 Bush-Gore battle – has backtracked on a policy that would have meant polling stations didn’t have disabled toilets.

The Capitol building in Washington DC. Photo: Getty
The 2014 US midterms don’t mean anything
By Tod Lindberg - 16 July 12:39

Pundits and polls say the stakes couldn’t be higher. The reality is quite the opposite.

San Francisco's oppressed motorists are fighting for change
By Barbara Speed - 09 July 13:45

They’ve been silent too long. 

They're bulldozing a fifth of Detroit
By Barbara Speed - 07 July 13:18

No more ruin porn? 

The Supreme Court in Washington DC. Photo: Getty
The Hobby Lobby decision was a victory for women’s rights
By Andrew Koppelman - 01 July 14:32

The Supreme Court has found a solution that is good for women and good for religious liberty.

Clinton voted for military action in Iraq but now admits she got it wrong. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty
The new stateswoman: Hillary Clinton’s steely idealism
By Douglas Alexander - 23 June 10:34

Will Hillary run for president in 2016? Her memoir is more interested in the fine art of diplomacy.

Senator Elizabeth Warren in late 2013. Photo: Getty
Why Elizabeth Warren should take on Hillary Clinton and run for the US presidency
By Mehdi Hasan - 16 June 11:13

Simply by running, Warren will drag the centrist Clinton to the left and put the causes she cares about – financial reform, fairer taxes, income inequality – at the centre of the 2016 presidential election.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the 2012 State of the Union. Photo: Getty
What Hillary Clinton’s new book tells us about her unspoken pact with Barack Obama
By Noam Scheiber - 09 June 12:30

Clinton gets Obama’s donors and operatives, and in return Obama gets the Democratic nominee best able to make sure his accomplishments outlive his administration. What’s not to like?

US Secret Service seeks Twitter sarcasm detector
By Sophie McBain - 05 June 12:55

The US Secret Service is seeking some help with its online snooping, and needs a company that can detect sarcasm online - because you need to be able to distinguish between "I love Al Qaeda" and "I love Al Qaeda". Good luck with that, pals! 

Students taking part in a candlelight vigil at UC Santa Barbara. Photo: Getty
Laurie Penny on Elliot Rodger: Mental illness does not excuse violent misogyny
By Laurie Penny - 30 May 10:00

What does a rich, privileged young man have to do to get labelled a terrorist?

Harvard to high office: Senator Elizabeth Warren, who heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Photo: Getty
Encounters in a Harvard canteen, Elizabeth Warren’s options and the charm of John McCain
By Douglas Alexander - 01 May 15:28

The shadow foreign secretary reports from a four-day trip to the States. 

James the evangelist: Jimmy Carter at home in Plains, Georgia
Jimmy Carter: “William Hague is a hero of mine”
By John Bew - 17 April 10:00

Our man in Washington John Bew has coffee with the former US president – and they talk Thatcher, Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the persecution of women.

Wendy Davis during her 13-hour filibuster of an anti-abortion bill in the Texas state senate. Photo: Getty
Can Wendy Davis become the first Democratic governor of Texas in 20 years?
By Nicky Woolf - 03 April 14:48

Wendy Davis shot to fame in 2012 after her 13-hour filibuster to stop a particularly vicious anti-abortion bill. But can she convert that kind of recognition into victory in the race to be governor of Texas?

You can take the boy out of Cumbernauld... Craig Ferguson rocks a kilt in LA
Letter from America: feeling right at home in la-la land
By Craig Ferguson - 06 March 10:00

The Scots-born US TV host, stand-up and writer on life with two passports.

Picking weed.
Cannabis in Colorado: The ups and downs of legalising highs
By Julie Bindel - 27 February 7:30

With more cannabis shops than branches of Starbucks and further liberalisation to come - why hasn't the trade in legal marijuana decreased the number of dealers on the street in Colorado?

Why is the Canadian rock band Skinny Puppy invoicing the Pentagon for $666,000?
By Sophie McBain - 06 February 12:04

How would you react if you discovered your music was being used to aid interrogations?

Robert Gates: memoirs of the “Soldier’s Secretary”, an old-fashioned realist
By John Bew - 30 January 10:29

The former US Secretary of Defense on what the president never knew.

In “Mitt”, Mitt Romney is both alien and somehow also beautifully, terribly human
By Nicky Woolf - 29 January 16:46

A new film following Mitt Romney from his failed first presidential bid in 2007-8 to his doomed candidacy in 2012 may not be political dynamite, but it is an oddly compelling portrait of a very awkward man.

“I have been waiting for him to come home for 27 years, 3 months and 10 days”
By Marita Maharaj - 27 January 10:09

For more than half of his time in prison, Marita Maharaj's husband Kris was on death row. His sentence was commuted in 2002, but he still faces life imprisonment.

If Chris Christie wants to be president, he has to shake off the stench of New Jersey politics
By Nicky Woolf - 16 January 12:48

Chris Christie's presidential hopes have taken a hit, thanks to the "bridge" scandal. But if he learns the lesson that the American public has little tolerance for proto-Nixonion political thuggery, and – crucially – stops hiring people who operate that w

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