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

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

US war veteran detained by North Korea Merrill Newman free to fly home after "apologising"

Merrill Newman, 85, was taken off a plane last month, accused of ordering the deaths of North Koreans during the 1950-3 war.

Blow to Obama as US Senate defeats gun control bill

The US Senate has voted against new legislation to expand background checks for gun purchasers, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's hopes of gun control reform after the school shootings at Sandy Hook in December.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that he was ready to hold talks with the US if the West stopped pressuring his country

Ahmadinejad: I’ll join nuclear talks if West eases pressure

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that he was ready to hold talks with the US if the West stopped pressuring his country.

American taxpayers face paying the bill for Senate's 'fiscal cliff' deal

President Barack Obama yesterday pressed the House of Representatives to vote in favour of a Senate-backed deal that would avert the swingeing spending cuts and soaring tax rates of America's "fiscal cliff".

Lady Gaga against gun crime: Celebrities petition for new arms laws in wake of Sandy Hook massacre

Lady Gaga, MC Hammer and Goldie Hawn are among 100 big names to have publicly condemned America's gun policies

Move to ban assault weapons gains momentum as Obama voices support

The White House appears to be moving towards backing the reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons after President Barack Obama told members of his cabinet to come forward with concrete steps to reduce public access to guns.

Obama's new term priorities: tax the rich and avoid 'fiscal cliff'

First speech after election triumph calls on Congress to take action

Vice President Joe Biden, left, took on Republican hopeful Paul Ryan in a live televised debate last night

Joe Biden vs Paul Ryan: The voter panel verdicts

Last night Vice President Joe Biden faced Republican hopefuly Paul Ryan in a live televised debate in Danville, Kentucky.

So what did our panel of voters make of the candidates?

Joe Biden beat Paul Ryan to disrupt Republican momentum in an episode of the Generation Game

By showing greater emotional intensity than Obama did last week, and shifting the focus on to foreign policy and George W Bush, the Democrats won last night

Mitt Romney so far has only released tax returns for 2010

Romney booed for attack on Obama at black rally

Mitt Romney received a rough reception from members of the NAACP, the country's oldest black civil rights organisation, yesterday, which erupted into boos and shouts of disapproval when he said he meant to overturn Barack Obama's healthcare reforms.

Mitt Romney so far has only released tax returns for 2010

Where's Mitt Romney's money? The offshore search is on

Obama's team has seized on Romney's apparent failure to fully disclose his holdings

Chris Meloni's (left) political vampire has drawn inspiration from the Republican Rick Santorum

Trending: 'Senator Rick Sanitorium' is back on HBO. Sort of...

Until now, the closest former US presidential challenger Rick Santorum had got to HBO was when Tony Soprano saluted "Senator Sanitorium" for his comparison of homosexuality to bestiality. No more!

Leading article: Full marks to Barack Obama

Same-sex marriage, promised in Britain before the next general election, was conspicuous by its absence from the Queen's Speech on Wednesday. But on the same day on the other side of the Atlantic, Barack Obama became the first US president to express his support for the idea. In doing so, he placed himself on the right side of America's most contentious social issue, and on the right side of history. It can only be hoped that David Cameron will prove equally courageous in the face of the increasingly vocal opposition to the proposal from the Tory right.

Archie Bland: The bumper sticker approach to politics can work

FreeView from the editors at i

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Oprah Winfrey.

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Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
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Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star