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US President adds that the substance is actually less damaging ‘in terms of its impact on the individual customer’

'Batman' shooting suspect James Holmes in court over cinema gun rampage

The former graduate student accused of killing 12 people in a shooting spree at a Denver-area movie house was due to make a second court appearance today as prosecutors and defense lawyers sparred over a mysterious package sent to his psychiatrist.

German composer Hans Zimmer

Batman composer records tribute song for shooting victims

Batman composer Hans Zimmer has recorded a song called "Aurora" to raise money for the victims of the Dark Knight Rises shooting.

Obama: AK-47s don't belong on the streets

Denver massacre prompts President to call for action on gun control, but he stays clear of specific legislation

Colorado cinema massacre suspect James Holmes in court

Batman massacre gunman James Holmes has appeared in court in Colorado with bright orange dyed hair.

The apartment where James Holmes is believed to have planned his attack was the scene of a massive security operation tonight

The killer: 'Loner' medical student who opened fire and left his nearby flat booby-trapped

James Holmes described himself as “a quiet and easy-going medical student” on the application form he filled out last May before renting a third-floor apartment in a brick-walled building a stone's throw from the University of Colorado's sprawling hospital campus.

Rain eases deadly US wildfires

Rain has cooled Colorado's deadly wildfires, but more than a dozen blazes elsewhere in the West have continued chewing through bone-dry pine and brush as firefighters keep a nervous eye for fireworks and other hazards.

Hundreds of homes destroyed by Colorado wildfire

A raging wildfire that forced tens of thousands to flee destroyed an estimated 346 homes this week, making it the most destructive fire in the US state of Colorado's history, officials said.

Wildfire smoke shrouds Denver

A wildfire 60 miles away wrapped Denver in a pungent cloud of smoke for several hours and complicated the aerial offensive against the spreading mountain blaze, which has killed one person and destroyed more than 100 structures.

Hundreds flee blazing US wildfires

Firefighters battled wildfires that spread quickly in parched forests in Colorado and New Mexico, forcing hundreds of people from their homes and the evacuation of wolves from a sanctuary.

Mitt Romney finally set to hit the magic number

Mitt Romney was poised to clinch the Republican presidential nomination after yesterday's Texas primary, a largely uncontested poll that will formalise the former Massachusetts Governor's status as President Barack Obama's challenger in the election in November.

Union anger as US firms eye nuclear contracts

Several US companies are preparing to bid to oversee the multibillion-pound decommissioning of 10 obsolete Magnox nuclear reactors, angering unions that want the work to go to British outfits.

Union fury as US firms eye nuclear work

A swath of US firms are preparing to bid to oversee the multibillion-pound decommissioning of 10 obsolete Magnox reactor-powered nuclear stations, angering unions that want the work to go to British outfits.

Vail resorts ride the ups and downs of the ski market

The Snow Report
Chill factor: The splendour of the Grand Canyon in winter

A wintry, ice-draped Grand Canyon? Cool!

Presidents have praised the magnificence of this geological scar in the south-west US, yet most people only see it in summer. To enjoy this landmark in solitude – go with the snow, says Chris Leadbeater

Snow business: Mammoth's town centre

Mammoth: The real McCoy of ski resorts

It started with a pioneer and his tow rope. Now Mammoth is huge.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home