News High five: Obama and Cameron playing table tennis at the Globe Academy School in London 2011

The 'special relationship' is stronger than it’s ever been

NSA surveillance revelations: Barack Obama announces reforms to bulk data collection and spying on heads of states

Long-awaited speech unveiled some restrictions to America's surveillance policy, but Obama remained largely unapologetic

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M Gates - book review

There’s a perfect piece of Washington DC anthropology by the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S Truman, that should be carefully tucked into the back pocket of US political correspondents and pulled out when crises, such as placing too much faith in the White House, arise unexpectedly.

Former US defence secretary Robert Gates has warned the UK against reducing the size of its military

Britain is a 'first class player': David Cameron responds to ex-US Defence Secretary Robert Gates' claim that UK military cuts could mean 'no US partnership'

The Former US secretary said a reduction in personnel would damage the UK's ability to be a partner with America

Happier times? April 2011 and President Barack Obama stands in the White House in Washington with Vice President Joe Biden (left) and outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates

White House defends Vice President Joe Biden over criticism from former Defense Secretary

Robert Gates also said Obama's national security team 'took micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level'

Wondering where Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey have disappeared to?

Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey holidaying together in Hawaii

The First Lady is bunkered down at the chat show host's sprawling luxury estate in Maui, reports suggest

Health check: Obamacare is gaining momentum. But there is far to go before the US President’s defining policy is a sure success

Such considerations are nothing compared with the tragedy that the failure of Obamacare would be for America

President Barack Obama, with Michelle Obama, listens to women's concerns about the Affordable Care Act, known as 'Obamacare'

Is the tide finally turning for Obamacare? After a slow start, the President’s signature policy must sink or swim in the new year

After early technical issues that gave ammunition to right-wing critics, enrollments for the medical insurance have surged in December - but will it continue?

2013 - the year in review: Barack Obama's new foreign policy marked the birth of a kinder, gentler nation

When Obama replaced the pins on those missiles aimed at Syria he was listening to his instincts – and to those who voted for him

2013 - the year in review: It took his death, but the world came together for a moment for Nelson Mandela

Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel claimed that he couldn’t afford the trip. His absence reminded us of Israel’s closeness to the apartheid regime

Love it or hate it, 2013 will be remembered as the year of the selfie.

Year of the Selfie: The birth – and death – of 2013’s biggest star trend

From Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian to President Obama and Pope Francis, everyone has been getting in on the narcissistic portrait action

Wait for it...Obama is to make a statement on the NSA after his holiday

Barack Obama puts his 'annus horribilis' on hold

Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA have wounded the President almost as much as the disastrous roll-out of his healthcare reform

US President Barack Obama during his his year-end news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington

NSA spying scandal: Barack Obama signals review of surveillance programmes following Edward Snowden revelations

Speaking at his end-of-year news conference, the US President said the government data collection programmes could be 'redesigned'

Bernard Randall, 65, pictured in Entebbe chief magistrate’s court, has been denied an extension of his visa

Uganda passes anti-gay law with maximum sentence of life imprisonment

Long-shelved law makes 'aggravated homosexuality' punishable by life imprisonment

Prince Charles in a right royal selfie

Photo features the Prince of Wales looking a tad confused by it all

US Figure-skating champion Brian Boitano comes out as gay

US figure-skating champion Brian Boitano comes out as gay

Boitano now joins tennis ace and activist Billie Jean King and hockey play Caitlin Cahow to represent America during the Sochi Winter Games

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot