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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.

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

Vail resorts ride the ups and downs of the ski market

The Snow Report
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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried