U.S. & Canada
- 21 December 2012
- Hits: 787
Despite all the predictions of Mayan apocalypse, the world will probably not end by Saturday morning. How will the believers cope when life carries on?The clock strikes midnight, the hallowed date arrives and, once again, the apocalypse fails to turn up on schedule.
- 07 November 2012
- Hits: 982
President Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
America's first black president secured the 270 votes in the electoral college needed to win the race.
In his victory speech before supporters in Chicago, Mr Obama said he would talk to Mr Romney about "where we can work together to move this country forward".
Mr Obama prevailed despite lingering dissatisfaction with the economy and a hard-fought challenge by Mr Romney.
His Democrats also retained their majority in the Senate, which they have held since 2007.
The Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives, which analysts say will likely result in more of the gridlock that characterised Mr Obama's first term, with the House and the president at loggerheads on most legislation.
In his address, the president challenged his opponents, asking them to work with him.
With only Florida's 29 electoral votes still undecided, Mr Obama won 303 electoral votes to Mr Romney's 206.
The popular vote, which is symbolically and politically important but not decisive in the race, remains very close.
Mr Obama congratulated Mr Romney and Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan on their hard-fought campaign.
"We have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come," he said.
Mr Obama said he was returning to the White House "more determined, and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do, and the future that lies ahead".
He pledged to work with Republican leaders in Congress to reduce the government's budget deficit, fix the tax code and reform the immigration system.
"We are an American family and we rise and fall together as one nation," he said.
In Boston, where his campaign was based, Mr Romney congratulated the president and said he and Mr Ryan had "left everything on the field" and had given their all in the campaign.
Referring to the struggling economy, Mr Romney said now was not the time for "partisan bickering and political posturing", and that Republicans and Democrats must "put people before politics".
"I so wish that I had been able to fulfil your hopes to lead the country in a different direction but the nation chose another leader and so I join with you to earnestly pray for [Mr Obama] and for this great nation," he said.
Under the US constitution, each state is given a number of electoral votes in rough proportion to its population. The candidate who wins 270 electoral votes - by prevailing in the mostly winner-takes-all state contests - becomes president.
On Tuesday, the president held the White House by assembling solid Democratic states and a number of important swing states such as Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin. His narrow victory in Ohio, a critical Mid-Western swing state, sealed the victory.
Mr Romney won North Carolina and Indiana, both of which Mr Obama won in 2008, as well as the solid Republican states.
But he was unable to win in Ohio or other states needed to breach the 270 threshold.
Also on Tuesday's ballot were 11 state governorships, a third of the seats in the 100-member US Senate and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives.
Mr Obama's victory came despite lingering high unemployment - 7.9% on election day - and tepid economic growth.
But voters gave him credit for his 2009 rescue of the US car industry among other policy accomplishments, and rewarded him for ordering the commando mission that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan last year.
He and Mr Romney, as well as their respective allies, have spent more than $2bn (£1.25bn) - largely on adverts in swing states.
- 04 November 2012
- Hits: 827
- 31 October 2012
- Hits: 733
- 23 October 2012
- Hits: 723
- 16 October 2012
- Hits: 781
The head of Argentina's navy has been replaced following the seizure in West Africa of a naval training ship and its 300 crew amid a debt dispute.
- 09 October 2012
- Hits: 596
Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky has spoken out against his child abuse accusers in a jail recording on the eve of his sentencing, US Media report.
Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of molesting boys in June, denies being a monster in the tape.
The 68-year-old's lawyer, Joe Amendola, says his client is likely to proclaim his innocence again as he learns his fate in court on Tuesday.
Sandusky's arrest in November triggered a crisis at Penn State University.
The institution's president and legendary football coach Joe Paterno were both fired as the scandal unfolded.
Sandusky could spend the rest of his life in prison, with a potential sentence of between 10 and 400 years.
"They can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart," Sandusky says in a recording broadcast by campus radio station Penn State Com.
In the audio clip, Sandusky appeared to lash out at one of his accusers.
"A young man who was dramatic, a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything," the former coach said.
"He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won.
"I've wondered what they really won: attention, financial gain, prestige will all be temporary. Before you blame me, as others have, look at everything and everybody."
He is expected to address the court during his sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
His lawyer told the Associated Press it is "as certain as certain can be" that the former football coach will insist he is innocent.
Some Sandusky friends and family members have written letters in support of him to the judge, and the disgraced former coach's wife, Dottie, is expected to attend the hearing.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 out of 48 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
He molested boys he met through the Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youth. The trial heard that the boys were abused at Sandusky's home, in hotels and at Penn State athletic facilities.
Eight men aged between 18 and 28 testified during the nearly two-week trial, providing graphic details of their ordeals.
In addition, two Penn State administrators are awaiting trial for failing to report the suspected abuse and lying to a grand jury.
Penn State had boasted one of the proudest football traditions in the country.
- 29 March 2012
- Hits: 617
The US Supreme Court has heard final arguments on President Obama's healthcare bill, debating whether it could stand if a key measure is cut.
A lawyer for 26 states challenging the law said the rest of the bill was untenable if the legal requirement to buy health insurance was struck down.
- 26 March 2012
- Hits: 641
US President Barack Obama says he is pushing for "a world without nuclear weapons", making direct appeals to North Korea and Iran.
He also pledged to work with Russia and China, speaking ahead of a summit in Seoul aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism.
- 23 March 2012
- Hits: 530
A Florida police chief criticised over the investigation into the shooting of an unarmed black teenager has announced he will temporarily step down.
Bill Lee has been censured by officials in Sanford, an Orlando suburb, over the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
- 22 March 2012
- Hits: 577
Mitt Romney has secured a key endorsement for his presidential bid from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Mr Bush, whose support comes the day after Mr Romney secured a clear victory in
- 21 March 2012
- Hits: 529
Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Illinois, his latest win on the road to decide who will contest November's poll against Barack Obama.
Mr Romney has won 47% of the votes, compared with 35% for Rick Santorum, with nearly all votes counted.
First Lady fends off tears as she talks about father's battle with multiple sclerosis during debut David Letterman appearance
- 20 March 2012
- Hits: 473
First Lady Michelle Obama laughed back tears during her appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman last night, as she recalled
memories of her father, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.
- 20 March 2012
- Hits: 522
The US Department of Justice has announced an investigation into the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot dead by George Zimmerman, 28, while Martin was walking through a gated community in a suburb of Orlando last month.
- 19 March 2012
- Hits: 576
US Republican presidential candidate front-runner Mitt Romney has chalked up a comfortable victory in his party's primary in Puerto Rico.
Election officials declared him the winner after he had secured 83.4% of the vote with more than 60% of the ballot counted.
- 14 March 2012
- Hits: 543
A US student accused of using a webcam to spy on a homosexual encounter involving his room-mate is not a criminal, his defence lawyer says.
Steven Altman told jurors in closing statements that Dharun Ravi never recorded the encounter and that he did not act out of a hatred of gays
- 14 March 2012
- Hits: 1135
Rick Santorum has won the US Republican primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, defeating chief rival Mitt Romney.
In Alabama, Mr Santorum was on 35%, with Newt Gingrich in second place and Mitt Romney trailing in third.
- 13 March 2012
- Hits: 562
US President Barack Obama has promised that international forces will not "rush for the exits" in Afghanistan, after an American soldier was accused of murdering 16 civilians.
Mr Obama said foreign troops must be withdrawn in a responsible way.