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

The beauty of style and simplicity

It might not look pretty. To some, it may even appear downright dull. But Gov.uk shows how a well-designed website can improve the lives of millions and cut costs at the same time – and for this reason it is a worthy winner.

Matthew Norman on Monday: Introducing Maggie - the consensual PM

Francis Maude gave a contender for the Most Balanced Thatcher eulogy this weekend. Plus, why Lady T was an (almost) total supporter of democracy

Spain's King Juan Carlos is now less popular among his subjects than Spain’s tax inspectors

King of Spain is now 'less popular than tax inspectors'

King Juan Carlos is now less popular among his subjects than Spain’s tax inspectors, according to a poll in El Pais.

Paperback review: No Time Like The Present, By Nadine Gordinmer

Jabulile Gumede, a black woman, and Steven Reed, a white man, were comrades in the fight against apartheid.

Pakistan's youth favour Sharia law and military rule over democratic governance

More young people in Pakistan believe the country should be run according to Sharia law or else by the military than favour democratic governance, according to a new survey.

In this year's Budget, George Osborne showed he's committed to the illusions of a Torytopia

It used to be said that the best Chancellors are like snake oil salesman. Alas for this one, he's not too good at selling things. But will it cost him or his party?

Vote No on Mugabe's 'fraud' constitution, urge Zimbabwe civil rights groups

Civil rights groups have called on Zimbabwean voters to reject a new constitution, accusing the political elite, including President Robert Mugabe and former opposition leaders, of imposing a fraud on the people.

Newly elected President Xi Jinping is applauded by delegates

2,592 for, 1 against: so who DIDN'T vote Xi Jinping for President?

In only the second peaceful transition since the Communist Party took power, the 59-year-old becomes China's Premier for the next 10 years

John Catt argued that, as he has not engaged in any criminality, the retention of data about him on the National Domestic Extremism Database was unlawful

'Police surveillance of this kind undermines our democracy': Judges rule that action against peaceful protester John Catt was unlawful

Police face having to rethink their whole strategy for public demonstrations after judges ruled today that the surveillance they placed a peaceful protester under was unlawful.

Democracy 2015 group asks for public’s opinion on drugs issue

Democracy 2015, the pressure group that aims to open up Parliament to representatives who are not career politicians, is to hold a series of public meetings to hear what people say about the UK’s drug problems.

Mr Mandela was hospitalised for nearly three weeks in December

Nelson Mandela in hospital for check-up

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, was admitted to a hospital in Pretoria yesterday for a scheduled medical check-up. Doctors say there is "no cause for alarm".

President Barack Obama given power to use drone strikes on US

President Barack Obama could in "extraordinary circumstances" use deadly drone strikes against Americans inside the United States, the country's attorney general has said.

Lech Walesa, Poland’s veteran pro-democracy activist and former president, gestures as he speaks during interview with Reuters

Lech Walesa: activist, electrician, president, Nobel Peace Prize winner... homophobe?

He is an icon of the democratic Left, who successfully challenged a repressive communist regime to become Poland’s first elected president.

Bradley Manning served democracy far better than the generals who want him sent to jail

Soldiers keeping their mouths shut keeps things in the same sorry condition, writes Afghanistan veteran and author Joe Glenton

Moves to tighten voting laws are politically motivated

The ghost of segregation returns to haunt the ballot box

Out of America: Nearly 50 years after the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court may be about to eviscerate it

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?