News Bill de Blasio and his family at his inauguration as mayor

De Blasio becomes the city's 109th mayor

David Cameron and wife Samantha are pictured following his speech

Sketch: Aspiration for all, whether you're white or black, Eton or Harrow

The problem with spreading privilege is that once spread, it ceases to be privilege

Two people were declared dead near New York's Empire State Building after a laid-off fashion worker confronted a former colleague

Empire State panic after designer guns down former boss

As workers and tourists dived for cover, police killed Johnson with a fusillade of bullets

A visionary: Brown at her desk in 1982

Helen Gurley Brown: Bestselling author and editor of Cosmopolitan

Helen Gurley Brown was the editor of Cosmopolitan and the author of the controversial, bestselling 1962 book Sex and the Single Girl. She was later the catalyst for the hugely popular Sex and the City series written by Candace Bushnell, in which the main protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw, writes a sex column on her sexual escapades and those of her close friends, as well as musings about the relationships between men and women. Arguably their lifestyles would not have been possible without Brown’s pioneering views.

Aurora massacre 'an argument for more guns' says lobbyist

The head of an American firearms lobbying group has said the shooting at a cinema in Denver, Colorado is an opportunity to "loosen up gun laws".

Stephen Foley: Why Americans have got themselves in a froth over super-sized soft drinks

US Outlook The image of the sedentary, pop-swilling American is more than a stereotype; one in three people here is obese, and the numbers are going up, along with the incidences of chronic disease, such as diabetes, that disproportionately afflict the overweight. There are many causes, inevitably, but one villain in particular is in the sights of government: the fizzy drinks industry.

Bigger is better in NYC – except for soft drinks

Coca-Cola has reacted angrily to a proposed limit on soft drink sales in New York that would reclassify a small McDonald's drink as large, in a measure to fight obesity.

New York proposes ban on sale of oversized fizzy drinks

New York City's mayor is proposing an unprecedented ban on the sale of large fizzy drinks and other sugary drinks in the hopes of combating obesity — an expansion of efforts to encourage healthy behavior that have led to shouts that America's largest city is becoming a "nanny state."

Leading article: A poor example set by London

Alongside the council elections on Thursday, some 10 British cities will be voting on whether they want an elected mayor. It is to be hoped that they all vote "yes". At their best, mayors are not only a dynamic addition to local democracy, they are powerful figureheads for their city's identity and can help to reinvigorate slumping public interest in politics.

Stephen Foley: Disney deserves to pop the champagne corks

US Outlook It was, in the words of Neil Patrick Harris's medley of Disney tunes, a super-spicy-synergistic-glitzy-celebration. Emphasis on the synergistic.

Leading article: Elected mayors are too good a chance to miss

Powerful mayors would offer stronger and more accountable leadership
Jose Pimentel in a New York court

FBI reveals doubts over US 'terrorist'

As authorities in New York touted their success in foiling an alleged terror plot, new questions were raised about the seriousness of the threat, with reports that the FBI declined to investigate the suspect because it did not consider him an effective terrorist.

A protester is removed by police as the activists converged on Wall Street yesterday

177 arrested as police clash with Wall Street protesters

Occupy Wall Street protesters fought with police in New York after they tried but failed to take over the streets around the Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan and disrupt the usual market opening. Disturbances on the two-month anniversary of the movement also broke out in other US cities.

Michael Bloomberg: New York's leading man

In a decade as Mayor, his calm confidence steadied a city recovering from 9/11. Does the US itself now need such a leader?

Floods spread north as US counts cost of Irene

As commuters trickled into a mostly unscathed New York City yesterday in the wake of Hurricane Irene, raging rivers continued to cause record flooding all across the north-eastern United States and electricity companies struggled to restore power to 5m darkened homes and businesses.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project