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

World’s biggest technology companies call on President Obama to reform NSA’s surveillance operations

CEOs express concern that wide-ranging activities have undermined the trust of their users

The sad and puzzling story of Abbas Khan, the British doctor found dead in Syrian jail

What prompted the death of a man whose life was more valuable to Assad than any other foreigner’s in Syria?

President Obama family Christmas photo is upstaged by elf

Mr Obama was taking part in the Christmas in Washington benefit concert

John Kerry said that to suggest that the government had 'abandoned [Mr Levinson] or anybody has abandoned him is simply incorrect... and not helpful'

US has not abandoned ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, says John Kerry

US government is pursuing a “number of different channels” as it seeks to determine whether or not he is alive

Ursula von der Leyen comes from a Christian Democrat political dynasty

Ursula von der Leyen: Is this the next woman to become Chancellor of Germany?

Angela Merkel’s third term in office ends in 2017, and a leading contender to succeed her is the new Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen

Borgen: TV review, BBC4

Great Dane bows out in a refreshingly unsentimental and brisk fashion

Obama, Cameron and Thorning-Schmidt cosy up for the selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service

David Cameron pleads with Danish Prime Minister not to delete their Mandela selfie

Mr Cameron suggested the picture could be sold to raise money for charity instead, reports say

Head turning: Mary Barra, the world’s first woman to lead a major car company

At last, the face of power is female

First, General Motors, next, the Federal Reserve. The glass ceiling in the US is not broken, but some big cracks are beginning to appear

Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

Germany set for grand coalition as left-of-centre Social Democrats vote in favour of joining ruling alliance

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives were on course to form a grand coalition government.

German Social Democrats back coalition deal with Angela Merkel

The majority of the centre-left party's members voted to join the Chancellor in government.

Desmond Tutu has said he will not attend Nelson Mandela's funeral.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu confirms he will not attend Nelson Mandela's funeral

The former archbishop's claims he was not told he was welcome, but the South African presidency disagrees

South Africa's deaf community accused the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial of being 'fake'

Fake signer who stood next to Obama at Mandela ceremony 'was once charged with murder'

Thamsanqa Jantjie, who described himself as a schizophrenic, is reported to have faced a string of criminal charges since 1994

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City during a snowstorm on 13 December 2013

Rare snowstorm leaves Jerusalem in lockdown

A rare snowstorm has blanketed Jerusalem, forcing a lockdown with police blocking access to and from the city.

In Pretoria, South Africa, people queue to catch a bus to see the remains of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings

The death of Nelson Mandela has exposed the failings of his successors

John Carlin, author of ‘Invictus’, reflects on a momentous week that has shown South Africa at its best - but also, all too often, at its worst

A selfie? On Cameron and Obama's part, this memorial snap was just plain shabby

Self-indulgence is typical of today's youth, but shouldn't be for our world leaders

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor