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

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend an interfaith memorial service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing

Boston bombing: ‘This is personal,’ says President Obama as FBI zeroes in on pair of bombing ‘suspects’

President and First Lady fly in for service honouring victims

Family members of Newtown massacre victims 'were in VIP seats close to explosions' at Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon began with 26 seconds of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings and a little more than two hours later, lead runners passed through the last mile marker while was decorated with the seal of Newtown, Connecticut, and dedicated to the memory of the 20 children and six adults killed on December 14.

President Obama will forgo five per cent of his salary

Barack Obama forgoes 5% of salary to 'show solidarity' with government workers

Barack Obama is to forgo 5 per cent of his official salary in a move designed to show common cause with government workers hit by the so-called sequestration – budget cuts that are eliminating overtime for some and forcing others to take an unpaid leave of absence.

Michelle Obama, Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian are among the victims

'Doxxing' hackers target those set to investigate them

Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé are among at least 17 high-profile victims whose personal financial details have been published online by hackers.

Tibetan writer and activist Tsering Woeser waves from the balcony of her home in Beijing

Tibetan poet blocked from receiving award

Beijing has prevented a Tibetan poet, Tsering Woeser, from travelling to the US to pick up an international women’s award by refusing to issue her a passport.

International Women’s Day: fearless, female and a force to be reckoned with

Hey ladies, it’s our day today. Some might say that half the population need more than just 24 hours... and we’d agree. But with global events shedding light on women’s rights, and Michelle Obama recognising extraordinary heroines, it’s a small step in the right direction.

Sesame Street: Forget chicken wings (sorry, Big Bird), it’s time to learn about healthy snacks

Michelle Obama: Give that First Lady her own TV show!

Phew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Michelle Obama (though probably not as busy as when she was a vice-president of the University of Chicago Medical Centre and a mother-of-two with a partner who was off politicking all the blooming time). She’s been on American TV six times in the past fortnight, promoting her healthy-living “Let’s Move!” campaign. US right-wingers have moaned she’s not a celebrity; we say, give her a show!

State of the Union speech: Barack Obama tackles economy and tries to put human face on plea for tougher gun laws

By turns pugnacious and inspirational, Barack Obama last night used his State of the Union address to table a laundry list of aspirations for his second term that ranged from achieving tax reform to increasing the minimum wage and tackling issues from gun control to immigration and climate change. 

Gun control, terrorism, gay rights and climate change: Obama sets out his bold battle plan for the next four years

President’s uncompromising address threw down gauntlet to the Republicans

The PS 22 choir from Staten Island, New York perform during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the US Capitol

Barack Obama's second inauguration: an oath ceremony that's only for show

Everything is going swimmingly so far in the four-day bash that is Barack Obama’s second inauguration as President of the United States, or POTUS to the Secret Service and the White House correspondents who must keep tabs on him. 

The President and the First Lady at the Inaugural Ball in Washington in 2009

Barack and Michelle Obama invite you to the inauguration party of the 44th President of the United States...

Stevie's going. So's Alicia – and Beyoncé. But if you want to get into the hottest event of next week's Obama inauguration, you'll need $1m...

Downton Abbey: Fellowes’ biggest success would also qualify, as it has a British cast and makes lavish use of Highclere Castle in Berkshire

Apple allows Americans to preview Downton Abbey on iTunes

If, like Michelle Obama, you are US-based and too obsessed with Downton Abbey to wait for it to be screened on PBS, iTunes might have the answer.

Why does Beyoncé advertise Pepsi?

Beyoncé is, quite literally, the face of Pepsi. Last month she had the logo of the drinks giant printed across her lips, and on February 3rd, at the Super Bowl halftime show, she'll rock a stadium to promote Coca-Cola's longtime rival. For this and other efforts, the singer is being paid the handsome fee of $50 million: but even such vast quantities of cash shouldn't convince stars to sell soda, argues Mark Bittman in the New York Times.

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks while visiting military personnel eating Christmas Dinner at Anderson Hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Obama cuts holiday to help avert 'fiscal cliff'

After just four days of vacation, President Barack Obama will leave Hawaii on Wednesday evening to return to Washington in a last-ditch effort to reach a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

Obama takes an island break from the pressures of office

With Washington struggling to come to an agreement on the "fiscal cliff", President Barack Obama arrived in Hawaii at the weekend for a Christmas break with his family.

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor