News

The President told David Letterman's future replacement: 'You've been taking a lot of shots at my job, I decided I'm going to go ahead and take a shot at yours.'

A president but not the supreme leader – and therein lies the problem for Hassan Rouhani

The Iranians are spinning in the media so that the centrifuges can keep on spinning

Obama accused the Republicans of 'extortion'

Battle over Obamacare may trigger US government shutdown

Republican attempts to derail planned healthcare reforms could provoke financial meltdown

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani

New president Hasan Rouhani: I have power to ensure Iran will never seek nuclear bomb

TV interview comes days before first appearance at the UN General Assembly

Brazil plans national Internet redesign in order to avoid US web surveillance

President calls for online independence in Brazil following revelations about NSA espionage

Aaron Alexis

Washington Navy Yard shooting: Should authorities have paid closer attention to Aaron Alexis following two previous ‘gun rage’ investigations?

Mass shooting will inevitably spark fresh debate over increased gun legislation

Syria crisis: Russia, the peacemonger

Whatever else we think of Putin, his search for an end to carnage in Syria is hopeful

Suddenly in a hole on Syria, Obama got lucky with a way out

The President set a trap for himself with his 'red line' promise, but does he have Cameron or the Kremlin to thank for rescuing him?

Syria crisis: John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov announce 'constructive' Geneva meeting to continue in New York as US and Russia push for 'Geneva 2' peace talks

The international envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, today held a three way meeting with John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov as key talks in Geneva enter the second day.

Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech

Vladimir Putin in plea to American public as US and Russia falter over Syria resolution

Urgent talks between Russia and US to take place in Geneva

Syria crisis: David Cameron defends 'strong stance' over chemical weapon attack

PM says proposal by Russia to send inspectors to seize arms would not have happened without the determination to stand up to Assad regime

Syria civil war: Russia tables plan for chemical weapons handover to rival French proposals, as Obama tells American public he will give diplomacy a chance

France’s scheme gives Assad a 15-day time limit before risking the use of force, while Russia says it will discuss its proposals with the US on Thursday

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, announced the proposal after talks in Moscow with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Moallem

Barack Obama: I'll put Syria military strikes 'on hold' if Assad surrenders chemical weapons

Proposal wins support from UN Secretary General and adds new and unexpected dimension to the situation

The Welsh family of jailed WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning have received donations from an ex-convict

Exclusive: WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning's Welsh relatives helped by ex-prisoner to fund trips to visit her in Kansas prison

… but man jailed after Gulf War protest has so far only raised £465 to pay for flights to the US

Barack Obama received little help from other world leaders at last week’s G20 summit in St Petersburg

Syria crisis: Barack Obama attempts to rally waverers ahead of Congress vote on US strikes

Videos of gas victims deployed along with a media campaign and proxies to persuade public to back Syria military action

Raising standards: hopes were high in the early days of the United Nations

The good, the bad and global inertia

The answer to disagreement at the UN is not to break international law but to keep looking for consensus. It's difficult, but not impossible

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there