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Mark Mardell, North America editor

Mark Mardell North America editor

Come here for America in all its glory - my take on the twist and turns of the presidency, electoral races and life beyond Washington

Boston bombing: Couple still strong one year after tragedy

15 April 2014

Marc Fucarile didn't really want to go watch the Boston Marathon last year - he'd never been before and isn't keen on crowds.

But he thought it would be fun to see some old friends and he could take his five-year-old son, Gavin, along too.

His fiancee Jen Regan persuaded him they'd probably want to have a beer and Gavin shouldn't miss pre-school. He agreed. That was the last piece of luck that day.

When the first bomb went off, Mr Fucarile and his friends all rushed into the street. The second blast was about 4ft (1.2m) away from them.

He found himself on his back, one leg on fire. He tried to get his trousers off, but got third-degree burns on his hands from touching his belt buckle.

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Secret US Senate report details CIA abuse

1 April 2014

The committee's accusations against the CIA were already very serious, but if this report is correct it blows a hole in the only argument in defence of "harsh interrogation" - that ugly as it was, it saved lives.

The Post says the panel's report found such measures did not help in the hunt for Bin Laden or anything else of value, and that the CIA lied to pretend that vital evidence was obtained from prisoners after what most would consider torture, when in fact it was given freely much earlier.

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Ukraine crisis: Stalin's joke sums up Obama's dilemma

27 March 2014
President Barack Obama reviews the honour guard in Rome, Italy, on 27 March 2014
US President Barack Obama met with Italian officials on a visit to the European nation this week

During his visit to the Vatican today, US President Barack Obama won't be tempted to ask Stalin's sneering question: "How many divisions has the Pope?"

But the Soviet dictator's joke lies at the heart of Mr Obama's Eastern dilemma.

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Resolve but no dramatics from White House on Ukraine

12 March 2014
US President Barack Obama (R) meets with Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk (L) in the Oval Office of the White House 12 March 2014
Arseniy Yatsenyuk (left) may appear mild-looking, but his words were full of fire

President Obama did not quite say "Я киянин" -"I am a Kyivian" - to echo JFK's famous support for Berlin against Soviet might.

And there's no dramatic plan, like the airlift, to deal with the Ukrainian crisis. Instead a certain resolve from the US president, the threat of sanctions, and a slim hope of a diplomatic solution.

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Ukraine crisis: Critical moment for US power

12 March 2014
Anti-Russian protesters in front of the White House, 6 March 2014

Ukraine's acting Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, will go into the White House today, apparently a question for President Obama ready on his lips.

It boils down to: "How far will you go, to help us?"

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About Mark

Covered British politics from the fall of Thatcher to Blair's last election victory as political correspondent, Newsnight Political editor, BBC Chief Political Correspondent and diarist for This Week.

The BBC's first Europe editor covering the impact of EU laws on people in and beyond the European Union's 27 countries, from illegal immigration to Poland to environmental change in Spain.

Grew up in Surrey, educated at Kent University in Canterbury, worked in commercial radio on Teesside Leeds and London before joining the BBC.

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