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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Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
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Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
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Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
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Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
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Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
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Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
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life
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Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
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Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits