Voices Seamus Heaney poses with the Nobel Prize for Literature he received during the Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm on 10 December 1995

'No poet of the past century has voiced dilemmas of the individual conscience torn between anguish at injustice and horror of violence better, or more profoundly'

Military commander says gay ban should be lifted

The top military commander in the United States told Congress yesterday that not only is it time to review the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays serving in the military instituted by former President Bill Clinton but that getting rid of it entirely would be the "right thing to do".

Bill Clinton: The great seducer

42rd president - 1993-2001

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/obama-still-has.html">Ed Howker: Obama still has questions to answer</a>

Any presidential campaign takes decades - it's noted that by the time Bill Clinton graduated he was storing business cards on a vast rolodex which was cherished and grown with every year until his election.

Bill comes through for Barack &ndash; and is right on message

He came on to the strains of "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow," the anthem of his victorious campaigns of 1992 and 1996. But when the delirious applause that greeted him finally subsided, Bill Clinton made clear that tomorrow – and the Democratic party – now belongs to Barack Obama.

A sore loser or a potent advocate, it's time for Bill to make up his mind

It'll be terrific on the night. With Bill Clinton it always is. Far less certain is whether his convention speech tonight will lay to rest the lingering uncertainties about his involvement in the Obama campaign this autumn, his role in the party and – not least – his peace with himself.

Leading article: Diminished and discredited

In theory, Barack Obama should have been Bill Clinton's ideal candidate for US President. Young, bright, ambitious and bold, with an unerring popular touch, Mr Obama has so much in common with the former President. And, even 16 years apart, in such very different Americas, their messages of can-do optimism, social inclusion and change allow voters to think better of themselves. Whatever one thinks about Toni Morrison's remark about Mr Clinton being the first black US President, he can nonetheless be seen as a trailblazer for Mr Obama in this way, too.

Chelsea could be president, says Bill

His wife has yet to give up the fight for her party's 2008 presidential nomination, but Bill Clinton is already offering a back-up plan to ensure that the family name occupies high office in America long after his own tenure as president. What's wrong with President Chelsea Clinton, say in 2016?

Paperbacks: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Canongate &pound;8.99

Takeover at Liverpool fuels call for cash curbs

The impending takeover of Liverpool by one of the richest men in the world will add weight to calls for Europe-wide restrictions on spending on transfers and wages by clubs.

Damon Dash: The man who would be Bling

Damon Dash has a butler, a chef, a glass-roofed limo... and a lot of time on his hands. Eric Konigsberg glimpses the existential angst of the hip-hop mogul who sold up after his every diamond-encrusted dream had come true

Leading article: Running on empty

Nanny state

How times have changed. The clue to every question about tangled relationships used to be: cherchez la femme. The tale of Mrs Kimberly Quinn, her husband and her lover, underlines that the key today is the nanny. An excellent nanny is the highest prize for any professional woman with young children. Finding one, then keeping her, can drive even the highest-fliers to desperate measures. Think Nannygate - the offences that disqualified Bill Clinton's first two choices for attorney general. Think the damage that indiscreet nannies have done. Once, it was a virtuous woman whose price was above rubies. Now, without doubt, it is a good nanny.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
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Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
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Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

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Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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