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

Mother Departs, By Tadeusz Rózewicz, trans. Barbara Bogoczek

Every mother's son – and daughter – will appreciate this powerful chorus of family memories

William Hague urges EU 'red card' system for nation states to block unwelcome laws from Brussels

William Hague today called for individual nation states to be given powers to block unwelcome laws from Brussels.

Fifa are now at the 'forefront of governance standards' according to Sepp Blatter

President claims football's world governing body has come through a tough spell

Sibling rivalry: The public enemy (left) confronts his brother

The new version of Ibsen's Public Enemy is a drama where democracy doesn't win any votes

Plus: Propaganda's crowning moments at the British Library and the Chapman brothers first exhibition in China should go down well with local audiences

IoS letters, emails & online postings (19 May 2013)

I am a hospital doctor by trade but have just finished four years on secondment to the Civil Service ("Mandarins to become 'chief executives'", 12 May).

Why is it that Europe stigmatises modern Hungary?

There have been eruptions of racial hatred in France and the Netherlands without the same questioning of their fundamental democracy, says Hungary's Deputy Prime Minister

Nawaz Sharif has won Pakistan's election, but a patchwork of power is emerging at the regional level

No political party enjoys anything close to consistent support across the four provinces

Satyajit Das: Alchemists at the courts of rulers foster illusion of perpetual growth

Midweek View: It is not clear how, if at all, printing money or financial games can create real ongoing growth and wealth
Desmond Tutu has said he will no longer vote for the ruling African National Congress

Desmond Tutu’s editorial denounces the ANC

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, lifelong friend of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the man regarded by many as the nation’s voice of conscience, has said he will no longer vote for the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's coming elections will test Khamenei's regime

Provoking political dispute in the run up to elections has been declared treasonous

Memebers of the rebellious Free Syrian Army, who have been fighting in the country's civil war for over two years

After Israel's air strikes, how can we end the civil war in Syria?

We probably can't, says Thomas Friedman. Not easily, anyway:

Italian politician accused of ‘shameful racism’

A senior politician has hit out at racist remarks aimed at the country’s first black minister by a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party.

Editorial: Electioneering is not free speech

Even the most ardent critics of the European Court of Human Rights must acknowledge that its most recent verdict deserves a round of applause.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson among Conservatives calling for 'Thatcherite zeal' against trade unions

One Tory wants to curb 'abusive militant minority,' while union bosses condemn 'the rhetoric of the dictator'

Margaret Thatcher funeral a proper honour, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson said today he was more sympathetic to Baroness Thatcher now than when he was young and defended the cost of her funeral.

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Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
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Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
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Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
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Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
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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
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015