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The First Lady on confidence, achievement and the all-important issue plaguing the female face of a nation: plastic surgery

Ready to Wear: Everything from vintage dresses to fine furnishing fabric is dissected

It's all the things that mean something to me, things that I love," says the former journalist/stylist/photographer and suitably impressive fashion Renaissance man, Iain R Webb, about his latest venture.

How Jack Bauer's sidekick turned nemesis

Carlos Bernard plays Tony Almeida in the hit show '24'. As series 7 is released on DVD, the actor tells James Rampton about the forces that have driven his character to the dark side

Editor-At-Large: A woman's place is on the platform

Bright women should be in power, not simpering at their men

The secret history of Michelle Obama

Family tree suggests an ancestor was raped by white slave owner

The Last Word: Rejoice as Brazil beat Barack

Time to cheer the IOC for sticking two fingers up at arrogant politicians as right wins over might

Editor-At-Large: Superwoman is now dolled up as the supermissus

Forget WAGs: there is a new female royalty. They spend their time espousing worthy causes while dressing for maximum impact. They maximise every photo opportunity, they twitter and they blog; getting their man's message out is the name of the game, all in the name of PR. But, unlike their husbands, they've never stood for political office. In fact, they don't really have a proper job, in spite of being well educated and highly intelligent. Some might say they represent a giant step backwards for womankind. These leaders' wives are famous for being a Mrs – women with another man's name identifying them. I don't know about you, but this isn't what I've fought for in the name of equality.

IOC swayed by Rio's samba style as Windy City is blown away

Brazil's President gets the credit for bringing the first Olympics to South America

Big Think: Valerie Steel talks about the relationship between women and fashion

Valerie Steele, a fashion historian and chief curator of the Fashion Institute of Technology's museum, decides whether staple items like hats, jeans and boots are in or out.

Michelle Obama to promote gardening on Sesame Street

US first lady Michelle Obama is to kick off the 40th anniversary season of the children's TV show "Sesame Street" with a segment encouraging kids to plant gardens and eat healthy food.

Berlusconi repeats 'tan' gaffe

Silvio Berlusconi was criticised for again calling Barack Obama "suntanned" and extending the insult to his wife, Michelle.

Obama boosts Chicago Olympic bid

Chicago's hopes of seeing off Rio de Janeiro's late surge in the race to host the 2016 Olympics were given a major boost today after the White House announced US president Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen ahead of Friday's vote by the IOC.

G20 Diary: Don't believe the hype

Official advice from the President of the United States: "Stop reading those London tabloids." Barack Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, dismissed stories of a breach in the special relationship, propagated mainly by The Daily Telegraph, as "a bunch of silliness". Sure, the White House turned down repeated requests from No 10 for a bilateral meeting, but Obama is talking with Gordon Brown all the while through the UN and G20 summits, Mr Gibbs told the US press corps travelling down to Pittsburgh. So that's a few dozen Telegraph subscriptions cancelled, then.

Spike Lee - still doing the right thing

As the BFI celebrates 20 years since the release of Spike Lee's seminal film with The Independent Interview and a season of movies on the Southbank, the director talks to Kaleem Aftab about race and retrospectives

Race row erupts over Carter claim

Former President questions motives of high-profile opposition to Barack Obama
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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
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Autism-friendly theatre

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