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Cabinet meetings under Margaret Thatcher were “miserably disappointing” gatherings devoid of debate and filled with “unctuous self-satisfaction”, one her most senior ministers said in 1984.

Boehner faces double challenge that will define his leadership

Dangling pizza slices when members of your own party are refusing to do your bidding might have seemed like a bright idea to John Boehner late on Thursday, but it didn't work. Thin crust or deep pan, they were not enough to spare the Speaker of the House the biggest humiliation of his career.

White House hits out at Republicans over debt crisis

A frustrated White House said Republicans on Capitol Hill were guilty of "crazy" and "juvenile" political posturing as they prepared to push through a bill designed ostensibly to end America's debt crisis, but only for six months. It would guarantee a replay of the stand-off at the end of this year.

The Business On... John Boehner, House Speaker

Can you pronounce that, please?

No deal yet over US default as deadline looms

An immediate deal to prevent the United States from falling into a devastating default remained out of reach today as political factions - congressional Republicans, Democrats and President Barack Obama - remained unable to overcome differences on spending and taxes.

President Obama calls Republicans' bluff on budget crisis

A forthright President Barack Obama told Republican leaders yesterday it was time to take hard decisions to resolve America's budget crisis and that he would refuse to sign a stop-gap package simply to avoid defaulting on the country's $14.3trn (£9trn) debt. The moment is nigh to "eat our peas". he said.

Obama holds talks today to thrash out deal on federal debt

Banks tell politicians to stop playing chicken with markets as Treasury deadline approaches

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's $500,000 jewellery bill

The US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has come under attack from fellow conservatives over his views on healthcare and a reported $500,000 jewellery bill.

Amsterdam - up in smoke?

Amsterdam’s relaxed attitude has long been a draw for tourists. But as the city bans visitors from its infamous coffee shops, one resident, Senay Boztas, wonders if the high times are over

Newt Gingrich to run for president

Former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich is to run for president.

The Business On... Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the US President

The woman Wall Street loves to hate?

Out of the West Wing – and into City Hall?

On the eve of Chicago's mayoral election, David Usborne joins Rahm Emanuel's campaign team for the final push

Obama's $1 trillion cuts 'not enough'

President Barack Obama proposed a budget yesterday that would cut the US deficit by $1.1 trillion (£690bn) over the next 10 years, but Republicans said it did not curb spending deeply enough.

Obama's budget freeze gets a chilly reception

One day after a State of the Union address that called for compromise and conciliation, President Obama faced instant headwinds as an offer to freeze domestic spending for five years got short shrift from Republicans and new projections had the federal deficit growing to $1.5trillion (£940bn).

Spare us the sob story: The lost art of stoicism

From Republican candidates to reality TV contestants, you can't move for weepers. But is visible emotion to be applauded? Peter Stanford thinks we need to reclaim the lost art of stoicism

Andreas Whittam Smith: A revolt against the ruling elite

For some years, the American electorate has been voting consistently against the party in power
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More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
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people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Sport
footballSporting Lisbon take on Chelsea as Manchester City host Roma
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Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
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Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
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Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn