News Barack Obama told a crowd at a Costco store the country was moving on

Jobs and wages will be the main battleground of November’s mid-term elections

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

State of the Union: Obama’s not the only elected leader whose power is waning

Institutional flaws have held the President back

State of the Union: Obama pledges 'opportunity for all' and to tackle economic inequality

In annual address, the President says 'too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead'

Bollywood glamour and roaring economic progress have blinded us to India’s misogynist reality

India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for females, after only Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan

Wendy Davis's campaign had made much use of her life story, and Republicans have jumped on the alleged discrepancies

Texas Democrat Wendy Davis runs into trouble over 'fanciful' life story in race for state governor

Wendy Davis, the Texas State Senator who shot to political fame with her filibuster last year against new curbs on abortion, is fighting to protect her nascent bid for governor amidst savage, deeply personal attacks from the conservative right after small discrepancies emerged in her much touted hard-scrabble life story.

The latest scandal to hit The Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, is an alleged video of him smoking crack cocaine that’s been seen by three journalists who all identified the Mayor

Toronto mayor Rob Ford leaves audience on tenterhooks after getting stuck in a lift

Another day, another embarrassing anecdote about Toronto’s illustrious mayor Rob Ford

Snowden's web-centric life brings him into alignment with those Luddites who assume the worst of any innovation

'I'm not a spy': Snowden dimisses allegations that he is working for Russia as 'absurd'

Whistleblower also acknowledged that he might  "end up disgraced in a ditch somewhere," saying "[if] it helps the country, it will still be worth it.”

Carl Lewis has accused Chris Christie of intimidation

Chris Christie ‘intimidated’ me, says Olympics legend Carl Lewis

Chris Christie, the embattled governor of New Jersey whose hopes for presidential nomination have been hit by revelations of alleged politically-motivated lane closures and misspending of federal aid, was dealt a new blow last night after the former Olympic sprint and long jump champion Carl Lewis accused him of “intimidation”.

Yes we can (fit it all in): Obama has come under fire for his fat-filled photo shoots

Barack Obama: Lighting up and chowing down on hot dogs - the President understands the political power of bad habits

The POTUS has revealed his past as a pot-user. These days, says David Usborne, Barack Obama has other vices

Florida’s incumbent governor, Rick Scott, won in 2010 by a narrow margin

Medical marijuana law may prove to be election high for Florida's Democrats

Politicians are used to courting a particular section of society come election time, but in a first for America, it may be the marijuana vote that decides the Florida governor’s race.

Barack Obama says marijuana is ‘no more dangerous than alcohol’ and users should not be jailed

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

Hilary Clinton's revenge list is no bad idea

My tally is in my head rather than on my laptop. Not being a high-flying politician, I guess my enemies are fewer and easier to remember than hers are.

Bill and Hillary Clinton: the book alleges that she kept a tally of all those members of Congress who endorsed Obama for the presidency, and of those who backed her, and with what degree of zeal

Bill and Hillary Clinton: Who’s on their grudge list? And what did they do wrong?

A new book says the Clintons don’t just bear grudges, they write them down and rank them

NSA surveillance revelations: Barack Obama announces reforms to bulk data collection and spying on heads of states

Long-awaited speech unveiled some restrictions to America's surveillance policy, but Obama remained largely unapologetic

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M Gates - book review

There’s a perfect piece of Washington DC anthropology by the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S Truman, that should be carefully tucked into the back pocket of US political correspondents and pulled out when crises, such as placing too much faith in the White House, arise unexpectedly.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan take part in round table talks in Nigeria during July 2011

The politics behind Nigeria's anti-gay law must be understood before Cameron reconsiders UK aid

Homophobia is not the only motive behind these unsavoury measures

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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine