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

Governor Chris Christie cannot ignore the impact of ‘Bridgegate’

US Sketch: Chris Christie builds bridges in state address, but row lingers on

Lying low as the lane closure storm blows all about him hasn’t really been an option for New Jersey’s Chris Christie, least of all today. His diary said “State of the State”, the speech every Governor must give at the start of each year just as the President must give the State of the Union. There was no ducking it. 

Russia and US unite to push for Syria ceasefire as Kerry and Lavrov meet in Paris

Powers call for humanitarian aid as rebels fight each other

A New Jersey home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Governor Christie is facing an investigation into allegations of misspending of federal aid earmarked for victims of Super-Storm Sandy

Open season on Chris Christie: New Jersey governor facing investigation into possible misspending of federal aid earmarked for victims of 2012's Super-Storm Sandy

Claims his office accepted a $4.7 bid for TV ads declaring the Jersey Shore open for business that involved his participation rather than a $2.5 million alternative that would not have cast him

In Thailand's latest round of political turmoil, which has lasted over two months, the PDRC have begun their campaign to occupy key locations in a city-wide shutdown of Bangkok. The PDRC and its supporters aim to derail Thailand's snap-poll scheduled for early February and demand that political reforms take place before an election

Parts of Bangkok brought to a standstill as tens of thousands of protesters attempt to force out Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters brought parts of Bangkok to a standstill as part of an attempt to shut down the city and force the resignation of Thailand’s prime minister.

Israel's president Shimon Peres prepares to lay a wreath on the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon’s body lies in state outside Knesset as Israelis come to pay their respects

There will be a state memorial service for the former prime minister tomorrow before he is buried in a private ceremony at his ranch

Happier times? April 2011 and President Barack Obama stands in the White House in Washington with Vice President Joe Biden (left) and outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates

White House defends Vice President Joe Biden over criticism from former Defense Secretary

Robert Gates also said Obama's national security team 'took micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level'

Judge rules Chicago's ban on the sale of firearms in the city is illegal

Officials in Chicago have vowed to fight a ruling by a federal district judge which threatens to lift a long-standing ban on the sale of firearms in the city, one of the last vestiges of the toughest crackdown on gun ownership in the US.

Wondering where Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey have disappeared to?

Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey holidaying together in Hawaii

The First Lady is bunkered down at the chat show host's sprawling luxury estate in Maui, reports suggest

Yellen will take over leadership of the Fed as it begins to reduce its $85 billion a month 'quantitative easing' programme

Janet Yellen voted in to become first woman to chair US Federal Reserve

The US Senate on Monday confirmed Janet Yellen as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve by a vote of 56 to 26.

What your favourite drink says about your political beliefs: Chart shows alcohol preferred by voters

Research looking at consumer data has found Democrats and Republicans have very different drinking tastes when it comes to alcohol

Bill de Blasio and his family at his inauguration as mayor

Bill de Blasio inaugurated at New York City mayor

De Blasio becomes the city's 109th mayor

Beyoncé and Jay-Z publicly reneged on their vegan efforts in a seafood restaurant

No meat, no dairy, no problem: is 2014 the year vegans become mainstream?

As a German vegan supermarket opens its doors in Britain for the first time, veganism comes in from the cold

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

Health check: Obamacare is gaining momentum. But there is far to go before the US President’s defining policy is a sure success

Such considerations are nothing compared with the tragedy that the failure of Obamacare would be for America

President Barack Obama, with Michelle Obama, listens to women's concerns about the Affordable Care Act, known as 'Obamacare'

Is the tide finally turning for Obamacare? After a slow start, the President’s signature policy must sink or swim in the new year

After early technical issues that gave ammunition to right-wing critics, enrollments for the medical insurance have surged in December - but will it continue?

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk