It may be the heart of American political power, and bristling with military and intelligence assets, but for three days now much of Washington DC and its suburbs have been disabled – essentially by trees falling on power lines.
British and European foreign ministers are preparing to defy Washington at talks over an arms trade treaty, amid fears the US will use its diplomatic clout to water down proposals for the first comprehensive laws governing weapons sales.
Mississippi's only reproductive health clinic was handed an eleventh-hour reprieve from closure late on Sunday, thwarting attempts by social conservatives to create America's first abortion-free state.
The supreme court's decision to give Obamacare the nod triggered a predictably furious reaction from Republican governors. For some it also set off a feeling of deja vu, like an American madeline at a far from Proustian Tea Party.
The attorney general Eric Holder has become the first sitting member of a president's cabinet in US history to be held in contempt of Congress after Republicans vented their fury over a bungled gun-tracking investigation.
Mitt Romney brushed aside failure of the supreme court ruling to strike down the Affordable Care Act and vowed to put the repeal of "Obamacare" at the centre of his presidential campaign.
A lesbian mother who was ousted as a American boy scout leader because of her sexual orientation has slapped down 1980s action star Chuck Norris after he claimed gay people have no place in the scouting movement.
In November 2008, when Barack Obama made his famous election night victory speech in Chicago's Grant Park, he invoked the story of a black woman who had lived through a century of struggle that had culminated with the first African American president.
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney has predicted a sleepless night for the White House ahead of a supreme court ruling on Barack Obama's healthcare reform, expected to be delivered on Thursday.
Mississippi's latest attempt to close its sole abortion clinic has been challenged as unconstitutional in an 11th hour legal challenge filed in a federal court on Wednesday.