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

If we want press freedom fit for a 21st century democracy, we cannot take it for granted

Our Deputy Managing Editor on the international pressures on regulation

Tunisian politician Chokri Belaid shot dead

A Tunisian opposition party leader who criticised the Islamist-led government and violence by radical Muslims was shot dead outside his home today, officials said.

Offside rule to be re-worded to avoid misinterpretation

There is sometimes uncertainly over when a player is interfering with play

Putin: Gessen argues that he presides over a corrupt and murderous regime
According to German tabloid Bild, eccentric characters like Prince Philip have a lot to offer the continent

Philip, Boris and Nessie: All provide reasons to stay in EU

German tabloid begs 'beautifully crazy' Britain to stay

As Barack Obama is inaugurated again, shouldn't we Brits be feeling a little embarrassed by all this?

It is a huge public affirmation of everything Americans and citizens of democratic countries value above all else. It is utterly inspiring. How does a coronation compare?

Tahir ul Qadri addresses his supporters in Islamabad

Protest leader Tahir ul Qadri accused of inciting a revolution in Pakistan

Tahir ul Qadri, the religious cleric whose supporters have besieged Pakistan’s capital with demands of political reforms, today called for the government, parliament and the Election Commission to be dissolved.

Are Pakistan's military and courts gearing up for another assault on a fledgling democracy?

There are worries that the democratic process will be replaced with an unelected cabinet

Gunman shoots at the headquarters of Greece's governing centre-right New Democracy party

A gunman sprayed bullets at the headquarters of Greece's governing centre-right New Democracy party near central Athens early today, with one hitting an office occasionally used by the country's prime minister, officials said. No-one was hurt.

Tahir ul-Qadri is planning to lead a huge march on Islamabad

Tahir ul-Qadri: The cleric who wants to disrupt Pakistani politics

A cleric has burst on to the political stage in Pakistan vowing to “get rid of electoral dictatorship” in a move that could scupper elections this spring.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Exclusive: So much for the libertarians! How Ukip sacked me after I said I support equal marriage

The former leader of the youth wing of Nigel Farage's party has left his post after disagreeing with party policy. They say he's trouble. Here's his version of events

Reassessing the human species: Highlander Warriors In Mount Hagen, Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea

The World Until Yesterday, By Jared Diamond

As the rich world suffers its crisis of excess, we can learn much from peoples who live with little.

The President said he will push legislation 'without delay' and urged Congress to hold votes on the bill next year

Barack Obama 'optimistic' over last-ditch 'fiscal cliff' deal

President has four days left to reach agreement with Republicans and stop sudden tax rises

US heading over fiscal cliff, says Senate leader Harry Reid

Almost £370bn of tax rises and spending cuts will to come into force on 1 January if a deal is not agreed

Egypt's opposition demands inquiry into referendum 'fraud'

Egypt's opposition groups are demanding a judicial investigation into the recent referendum on the country's draft constitution, citing "systematic fraud".

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
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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