Harry Reid

US Senate leader Harry Reid orders probe of alleged CIA computer hacking

David Joachim United States Senate majority leader Harry Reid said he had ordered a forensic examination of the Senate Intelligence Committee's computer equipment to answer what he called the CIA's "absurd" claims...

Nevada rancher in stand-off with Feds over US public land use

Rancher Cliven Bundy hosts a Bundy family

John M. Glionna The battle lines are hardening in Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's so-called "range war" against the federal government over his right to graze cattle on public lands.

Fort Hood shooter showed no 'sign of any likely violence': Army secretary says

In shock ... Staff Sergeant John Robertson, right, waits in a parking lot outside of the Fort Hood military base for updates about the shooting that occurred inside on Wednesday.

Craig Whitlock, Carol Leonnig and Adam Goldman The soldier who fatally shot three people at Fort Hood, Texas, before killing himself had been undergoing treatment for depression and anxiety but had seen a psychiatrist last month and showed no...

Ukraine crisis: US expands sanctions against Russia, S&P cuts credit rating outlook

Increasing pressure: Barack Obama outlines the measures from the South Lawn at the White House.

President Barack Obama has announced he will expand sanctions against Russia, blacklisting wealthy individuals with ties to the government and a bank used by them, and opening the door to broader...

US, Russian sanctions escalate - giving US senators a chuckle

barack obama

Nick O'Malley Barack Obama has announced tough new sanctions against key allies of Vladimir Putin, prompting the announcement of retaliatory measures from Moscow that have already been laughed off by some in...

Dalai Lama gives the opening prayer in US Senate

The Dalai Lama meets with US Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Lisa Mascaro The Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, delivered the opening invocation in the US Senate on Thursday, praying "to Buddha and all" and suggesting that purity of thought will guide...

Obama fights push to add Iran sanctions

Mark Landler With the United States and Iran about to embark on a critical phase of nuclear talks, President Barack Obama is waging an intense rearguard action to prevent Senate Democrats from supporting strict...

Wendy Davis, a rising star in 'battleground' Texas

State Senator Wendy Davis

Jim Vertuno and Will Weissert As she spoke late into the night, railing against proposed abortion restrictions, a former Texas teen mom catapulted from little-known junior state senator to national political superstar in pink...

A dirty business

Andrew Purcell Since 2002, the United States has killed thousands of people in missile strikes and covert military operations, including innocent civilians and even its own citizens.

Vladimir Putin threatens UN Syria vote over US threat of force

Vladimir Putin.

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council has been cancelled and the diplomatic initiative to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons is under threat

Tears in vain: shooting fails to sway US

Nick O'Malley 'It's just a signature away. Who else has to die before you get it?'

Senate rejects budget, US closer to shutdown

The US Senate has swiftly rejected a House measure to delay President Barack Obama's health care law as part of a federal funding bill, pushing the government ever-closer to a shutdown.

United States government shutdown begins as Congress hits dead end

Obama

Roxana Tiron, Richard Rubin and Kathleen Hunter The United States government began a partial shutdown at midnight (2pm today, AEST) for the first time in 17 years, putting as many as 800,000 federal employees out of work, closing national parks...

United States shutdown solution no closer after crisis meeting

US Speaker of the House John Boehner

United States President Barack Obama summoned top congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday, but despite his stern warnings about the need to halt the government shutdown and prevent a...

Barack Obama fails to get backing from Congressional leaders to end shutdown

Barack Obama

A meeting of Congressional leaders with President Barack Obama at the White House has ended with little apparent progress, meaning the US government shutdown will grind into a third day.

US shutdown: families of fallen soldiers must pay for funerals

1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, is pictured in this undated handout photo released to Reuters October 8, 2013. Moreno was killed October 6, 2013 by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The Pentagon says it is not allowed to pay his family a

The families of four US soldiers killed in Afghanistan last weekend will not receive death benefits or the money to pay for their funerals because of the US government shutdown.

US debt limit breakthrough could be imminent

US House Speaker John Boehner pauses between answers to questions during a news conference at the US Capitol in Washington.

Roxana Tiron The White House endorsed a short debt-limit increase with no policy conditions attached, signalling potential support for House Republicans' plan for a month-long reprieve from a default.

US shutdown stalemate enters realm of the absurd

John Boehner

Paul McGeough The chaos at the heart of government in the US danced into the realm of the absurd on Tuesday morning when the Congressional Republicans who pulled on the fight, failed to agree on their next move.

US Senate leaders strike deal on US debt

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid arrives at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Republican and Democratic leaders in the US Senate have struck an agreement to end a fiscal impasse, hours before Washington hits its debt limit, a senator says.

US Congress votes to re-open government

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks at a press conference after successfully pushing a bipartisan bill through the U.S. Senate to restart the government and raise the debt limit at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. The bill still needs to be approved by the house. If the bill is signed into law, it will fund the government until January 15, 2014 and allow the government to pay bills until February 7, 2014.   Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP

Jonathan Weisman America's economy has been pulled back from the edge of an abyss, with Congress approving a measure that should end the government shutdown and avert a potentially catastrophic default.