Anne Penketh

Anne Penketh is a freelance journalist and columnist based in Paris. She was posted to Moscow, Paris and New York for AFP news agency before joining The Independent, where she was Diplomatic Editor until 2009.

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François Hollande’s aides said his letter was a ‘personal testimony’ as a private citizen in the case concerning his girlfriend Valérie Trierweiler

Hollande accused of interfering with partner's defamation case

French President's letter defending Valerie Trierweiler in 'love triangle' law suit sparks fury

Split Congress leaves US still on edge of 'fiscal cliff'

So the Republicans retained their majority in the House of Representatives and the Democrats kept control of the Senate – a recipe for continued gridlock in Congress as the country is threatened with tumbling off a "fiscal cliff". Yesterday, jittery world markets reacted accordingly and stocks plunged.

A glimpse of the old magic but a hard road lies ahead

For a few minutes early yesterday, Barack Obama implored Americans to ignore the fact that half of the country had voted for his opponent, and it worked. "Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual," the President told supporters in Chicago, in an appeal for bipartisanship that recalled the early days of his first term. He soon discovered, in 2009, that hatred for the country's first black President among some Republicans was so deep-seated that their leaders would block him every step of the way.

Many of the Congressional candidates’ televised exchanges highlighted the gravity of the “fiscal cliff” debate

Now the real battle begins: ‘fiscal cliff’ looms for Obama with Congress deadlocked

The US Congress faces continuing gridlock as the country hurtles towards a “fiscal cliff”, with the House of Representatives and the Senate remaining as divided as before amid record spending by outside groups to influence the result.

Electronic voting machine selects Romney even when you choose Obama

It’s hard to believe yesterday’s presidential election is taking place in America when you consider the embarrassing glitches in the voting systems of some American swing states.

Legal advisers have been dispatched to the swing states that are likely to decide the election in echoes of the 2000 Florida race

Legal arms race begins as both sides prepare to do battle in court

Battalions of lawyers are readying for legal challenges in battleground states after Tuesday's election, fearing a replay of the nightmare, razor-close 2000 contest in Florida between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W Bush, who emerged victorious as President only after a Supreme Court decision.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced he will vote for Barack Obama in the Presidential elections

Bloomberg will vote for Obama as America 'needs leadership' on climate change

In a surprise endorsement, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that he will vote for President Barack Obama in next Tuesday's election because "we need leadership" from the White House on climate change.

Why Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie is President Obama's new best friend

President Obama was out on the campaign trail yesterday with his new friend, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Sorry, scratch that, Obama announced he was suspending the campaign and his spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that "this is not a time for politics." So what we saw yesterday was a Democratic and a Republican politician putting America before politics as they discussed putting New Jersey back on its feet after Hurricane Sandy. Now that's a rarity in this polarised country.

Stills taken from anti-Romney and anti-Obama Super PAC videos. There are questions over how effective the negative ads are among voters

Two candidates, $660m raised, endless adverts. But is it worth it?

Americans' TV screens have been bombarded by campaigns paid for by controversial Super PACs – but they're not as effective as everyone expected

Ida Edwards, 74, an Obama neighbourhood team volunteer

After four hard years, Black America remains loyal to its President

Turnout of African Americans remains key to Obama's chances

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Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game