News

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

Sea here: Leonard Knight's Holy Land, Salvation Mountain

To be beside the seaside: Simon Calder visits Salton Sea

The super-salty Salton Sea is one of California’s quirkiest secrets. Simon Calder visits ‘Slab City’, then climbs Salvation Mountain.

Rick Santorum was far more convincing during his short speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference than his rival Mitt Romney

Rupert Cornwell: The Romney dog-food brand still isn't selling

Out of America: The Republican frontrunner can't seem to win over the party faithful

David Usborne: Republicans can choose between scary, nuts, or Romney

What's changed is that he is doing even worse among Republican grassroots voters than four years ago

As of today, Mr Santorum has won four states in this marathon against three for Mr Romney, thus completely upending the assumptions of where it was headed

Santorum hat-trick derails Romney hopes

A stunning mutiny by evangelical and conservative Republicans punctured the tyres of the supposed frontrunner Mitt Romney in last night’s trio of nomination contests and instead gave a sudden and barely expected jolt of adrenalin to the staunch social conservative in the race, Rick Santorum.

Taylor attacks the decision to let a transgender boy join the Girl Scouts

The great Girl Scout cookie row

Viral video demands nationwide biscuit boycott

Woman accused over art attack

A 36-year-old woman was accused of causing $10,000 worth of damage to a painting valued at between $30m and $40m by punching it, scratching it, and sliding her bare buttocks against it while urinating.

Travel challenge: A North American ski holiday

Every week we invite three companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a week-long ski holiday in North America. Prices are per person, based on two people travelling together. Each includes transfers and flights from the UK on 21 January.

End of the road for the high priest of group sex with minors

The saga of Warren Jeffs' long-running trial shocked most of America – but many sects still hail him as a hero. Guy Adams reports

Colorado Rockies: At the great divide

The Colorado Rockies mark a geographical watershed in North America. They're also big. Really big. Steve Connor minds the gap

In pictures: Wild Wild West

What is believed to be the only surviving authenticated photograph of Billy the Kid fetched $2.3m (£1.4m) at an auction in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday. Here we take a look at the legends of the Wild West, who still capture the imagination today.

Passive smoking blood pressure risk

Boys who inhale second-hand tobacco smoke at home may experience significant levels of raised blood pressure, a study has found.

Stan Kroenke: The American's other teams

With Stan Kroenke poised to seal a takeover of Arsenal after increasing his shareholding to 62.89 per cent we take a look at the other teams owned by the American businessman.

Silent Stan: sports nut with a record of success

American Stan Kroenke, the new Arsenal owner, has seen instant results at all his other clubs

Charlie Sheen stage show slammed by audience and critics

Charlie Sheen was heckled, booed and eventually abandoned by the crowd at his inaugural stage show, with many of the audience members chanting "refund" and heading for the exits even before the show abruptly ended.

Stephen Wood: The men who give winter a helping hand

The man who skis all day
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas