Iraq war casts long shadow over US and UK politics

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush has struggled to articulate what he would have done over Iraq

On both sides of the Atlantic, the Iraq war continues to cast a diffuse shadow from which politicians are struggling to escape.

It falls upon the fight for the Republican presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton's White House quest and the debate over the future direction of the Labour Party in Britain.

Even freshman politicians, like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who was three years shy of heading to Washington when the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad's Firdos Square in April 2003, have been touched by its gloom.

Seeking to follow his brother into the White House, it was inevitable that Jeb Bush would be quizzed about the decision to go to war.

What's been surprising, astonishing even, is his fumbling response. After all, he and his team must surely have war-gamed such a predictable line of inquiry.

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Why are 60,000 homeless in New York?

It has been one of the coldest winters on record in America's north-east, and in New York City freezing temperatures have coincided with record numbers of homeless.

The city's homeless population at all-time high of 60,000 and 25,000 of those are children.

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Brian Williams and the decline of the US news anchor

  • 5 February 2015
  • From the section Magazine
Television journalist Brian Williams arrives at the Asbury Park Convention Hall during red carpet arrivals prior to the New Jersey Hall of Fame inductions, in Asbury Park, N.J 13 November 2014
NBC's top news presenter Brian Williams has apologised for the "mistake"

Usually it's in late night bars that journalists are prone to exaggeration. But fabricating a story on a late-night talk show, and then repeating it, has landed Brian Williams in trouble.

Appearing on the David Letterman show in 2013, he told a riveting story from the Iraq war of how his helicopter was forced down after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade.

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Mitt Romney: The aura of a serial loser

Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention 7 November 2012
Mitt Romney's presidential runs were hobbled by his image problems, Nick Bryant writes

The shiny black hair, the quarterback smile, the lantern jaw. Mitt Romney has never had any difficulty looking like an American president.

Getting voters to elect him to that job has long been a problem. In 2008, he failed in his first attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination partly because he was seen as inauthentic - a moderate Republican, who had served as the governor of liberal Massachusetts, who tried too hard to recast himself as a conservative.

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Snowperbole: New Yorkers ask 'Is that it?'

Commuters make their way across the Brooklyn Bridge after a snow storm in New York January 27, 2015.

In the end it was the threat of a monster storm that paralysed New York City, rather than the snowfall itself.

Just five inches were recorded in Central Park, nowhere near the forecast of up to three feet. Warnings, near apocalyptic, that the city faced an extreme weather event of epic and historic proportions, which started with a press conference on Sunday conducted by New York Mayor's Bill de Blasio, now sound alarmist.

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MLK's Selma march captured by Stephen Somerstein's lens

  • 19 January 2015
  • From the section Magazine

Some of the most memorable news imagery of the post-war years came from the struggle for black equality, when photojournalism doubled as iconography.

So shocking were the front page pictures from Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963 of police German shepherd dogs tearing at the clothes and flesh of young protesters that it roused public support for the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act that dismantled segregation in the south.

Read full article MLK's Selma march captured by Stephen Somerstein's lens

Maine 'thinking locally' on Ebola nurse quarantine

Television cameras stand on the road across from the house of nurse Kaci Hickox in Fort Kent, Maine 30 October 2014

Even without the Halloween decorations adorning many of the houses, the small Maine border town of Fort Kent would have something of a ghostly feel.

There are few people on the streets, and little activity. Early this morning, it was just a few locals arriving in their pick-up trucks at the hardware shop on the main drag in town, and a couple of people dropping by a diner.

Read full article Maine 'thinking locally' on Ebola nurse quarantine

US mid-terms: Will national security decide New Hampshire race?

New Hampshire is a state where the Republican attempts to turn these congressional elections into a referendum on President Barack Obama run up against that stubborn old adage "all politics is local".

A close Senate race pits the first-term incumbent Jeanne Shaheen against Scott Brown, the former senator from neighbouring Massachusetts, who has crossed the state line in a bid to revive his political career.

Read full article US mid-terms: Will national security decide New Hampshire race?

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Lakhdar Brahimi: UN Syria envoy stepping down

Lakhdar Brahimi has long been one of the UN's most trusted and effective diplomatic troubleshooters, having worked in the past in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the 80-year-old Algerian has made it known for months he intended to step down from one of world diplomacy's toughest and most thankless jobs.

Read full article Lakhdar Brahimi: UN Syria envoy stepping down

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Ukraine's Yanukovych asked for troops, Russia tells UN

  • 4 March 2014
  • From the section Europe

Covering the UN on Monday felt like time-travelling back to the days of the Cold War, when America and the Soviet Union used the Security Council not as a forum to resolve problems but as a platform to voice strong rhetoric.

Lending the angry session an even more nostalgic feel, it also featured a prop - a letter from Ukraine's ousted President Yanukovych, brandished by Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, requesting Moscow's intervention to protect the country's Russian-speaking people.

Read full article Ukraine's Yanukovych asked for troops, Russia tells UN