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

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.

President Barack Obama pushed ahead yesterday with his choice of the former US Senator Chuck Hagel as America’s next Pentagon chief while nominating his anti-terror advisor, John Brennan, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Chuck Hagel was chosen by Obama because they agree war is always a last resort

Veterans of the Drip will remember that we flagged up a brilliant piece by the New York Times' David Brooks explaining why Chuck Hagel was chosen for the Pentagon. Brooks argument was simple and persuasive. The huge costs of Obamacare will put intolerable pressure on America's budget. Defence spending will need to be cut. Therefore Obama needed a Republican war veteran as political cover.

Unhitched: the Trial of Christopher Hitchens, By Richard Seymour

Sectarian and mean-spirited, this far-left attack on the late contrarian author fails to convince

Editorial: Politics and patience are the right response

It was with some trepidation that we waited for the Prime Minister's statement in the House of Commons this afternoon. Over the weekend, as the news from Algeria grew ever bleaker and the death toll from the attack on the In Amenas gas plant continued to rise, the tone of official pronouncements, including from David Cameron on Sunday, sounded alarmingly simplistic and shrill.

Second inaugural addresses: fraught with difficulty and rarely memorable

The second inaugural address has rarely been memorable. Save for Abraham Lincoln’s, which struck a series of soaring notes, including “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty source of war may speedily pass away”, they are fraught with difficulty.

Markets set for fiery day after US 'fiscal cliff' deal

Global stock markets are expected to face turbulent trading when they re-open today as investors give their initial verdict on the US budget agreement to avert the "fiscal cliff" of combined general tax rises and public spending cuts.

Turmoil fear as US pulls back from 'fiscal cliff'

Markets worldwide face volatility after late compromise on tax rises and spending cuts

The News Matrix: Tuesday 1 January 2013

Tories lose voters to Labour and Ukip

Ex-US president George H W Bush in intensive care

Former US president George H.W. Bush has been admitted to a hospital intensive care unit “following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever”, but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said.

Mr Bush's son, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, has been among the visitors at the hospital

Former US president George HW Bush to spend Christmas in hospital

Former US president George H.W. Bush will spend Christmas in a Texas hospital after developing a fever and weakness following a month-long, bronchitis-like cough, his spokesman said.

Editorial: Mr Obama wins, with or without a budget deal

The broad principles of a long-term solution to the US budget deficit are clear
Game changer: Marvin Miller, former head of the baseball union, pictured in 1981

Everyone's a winner on the level playing fields of sport

Out of America: Baseball and hockey don't follow the stereotype of rampant US capitalism

Republicans pin hopes for win on a third Bush

It has been less than a month since Mitt Romney was forced to abandon his 1,118-word victory speech, but already the Grand Old Party has begun the search for its great new hope, with Republican heads turning in the direction of Texas and the name Bush.

George P. Bush speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference

Republicans pin their hopes on a third George Bush

Grandson of one President – and nephew of another – signals that he is ready to run for political office

Obama advisers see mandate for fiscal policy

President Barack Obama spent Thursday meeting with senior advisers and returning a series of congratulatory phone calls from foreign leaders as the glow of his successful campaign faded into the impending grind of governing in a divided Washington.

Romney has played a textbook campaign

Editorial: High hopes to sober realism

A presidential challenger who appears to believe in so little does not deserve to win

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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