Voices President Obama urged members of Congress to make 2014 a 'year of action' in his State of the Union address

Institutional flaws have held the President back

Government 'not gung-ho' on Syria says William Hague

Syria's use of chemical weapons is "an evil we must stand up to one way or another", William Hague said, but insisted the Government was not "gung-ho" about military action.

Egyptian former militants try to broker peace between military and Muslim Brotherhood

Two Egyptian former militant groups are offering an initiative to halt the country's political violence, in which supporters of the ousted Islamist president will stop street protests if the military-backed government stops its crackdown on them.

The IPPR wants to force the young to vote. It's a push in the right direction

Libertarians might run a mile, but radical steps are needed

Voting should be made compulsory for young people casting their ballots for the first time, a leading think-tank says

Voting should be compulsory for young people at least once, says think tank

Compelling young  people to participate would forge lifetime habits, IPPR suggests

Zimbabwe gets a bank holiday as Robert Mugabe is sworn in for seventh term

Mr Mugabe will be sworn in for a seventh term, after serving 33 years as head of state

William Hague called the situation in Egypt “very bleak”

William Hague says turmoil in the Middle East could ‘last decades’

The Foreign Secretary also calls the situation in Egypt “very bleak”, but says Britain will support democracy in the country

Syria's shadow now looms over Egypt – and the West is allowing it to lengthen

As rivers of blood flowed in Egypt this week, the frightening crisis in a wounded nation turned even more critical. With each bullet the prospects for peaceful and political resolution to increasingly deep divisions over faith and freedom receded that bit further.

Mugabe, centre left, with his wife Grace; he made the comments at the Heroes' Day rally in Harare

Robert Mugabe tells opponents who dispute Zimbabwe election results to 'go hang... commit suicide'

President dismisses Movement for Democratic Change as Western stooges

Paperback review: Silent House, By Orhan Pamuk (Trs Robert Finn)

Style and substance from a good listener

David Cameron entertains Bahrain’s dictator King Hamad al-Khalif

On his first full day back from holiday, David Cameron held talks in Downing Street with King Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain.

US senator John McCain calls for talks with former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi

John McCain, the US senator, has urged Egypt’s military-backed government to release detained members of the Muslim Brotherhood before starting negotiations.

Votes counted in Harare last week appear to show a Mugabe victory

South African President Jacob Zuma congratulates Robert Mugabe on his landslide victory in Zimbabwe elections

But win provokes criticism from the UK and US, as Australia's Foreign Minister calls for election re-run

President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has won 142 of the 210 parliamentary seats

Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe election victory was a 'masterclass in electoral fraud'

Opponents claim  Zanu-PF conned its way to power – rather than taking it by force

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (left) cast his vote

Zimbabwe election results: Opposition leaders claim vote tainted by 'monumental rigging' as Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF claims victory

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvanirgai says his party considers the vote 'null and void' as election monitors warn that around one million people were denied their vote

Harry Byrd, Jr: US senator who fought against desegregation

Harry Byrd Jr, who died on 30 July at the age of 98, was a Democrat-turned-independent who began his career as a staunch segregationist and preached fiscal restraint in Washington long before it became fashionable. Byrd served 17 years in the US Senate, replacing his powerful father, Harry Flood Byrd, a senator from 1933 until ill health forced him to retire in 1965.

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To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

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David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
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