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.

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all