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

Michelle Obama's jet aborts landing

US air traffic controllers directed a plane carrying First Lady Michelle Obama to abort a landing at Andrews Air Force Base because it was too close to a military cargo jet, in yet another embarrassment for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Boyd Tonkin: The not so secret life of Her Indoors

The week in books

Why Jamie's knives are out for Sarah Palin

Chef brands US politician a 'Froot-Loop' over her criticism of childhood obesity drive

Obamas to make state visit to Britain in May

Barack and Michelle Obama will pay a state visit to Britain between 24 and 26 May, in a trip designed to underscore US ties with Britain, and lay to rest more general doubts about the importance Washington accords to its European allies.

Obama coming to UK on state visit

US President Barack Obama is to make a state visit to the UK in May after accepting an invitation from the Queen, Buckingham Palace announced tonight.

Editor-At-Large: Brilliant teachers to the rescue as Gove betrays our schools

It might look as if Michael Gove is in hot water after being criticised by a High Court Judge for the manner in which he cancelled the £55bn Building Schools for the Future scheme, but the Secretary of State for Education has a far more serious problem on his hands. After Friday's court ruling, no doubt the six councils who took him to court will make their case all over again and this time he will have to consider it properly, but there's every possibility he will reach exactly the same decision.

Terence Blacker: Kick the bullies, not the habit

I felt a genuine pang of sadness at this week's news that Barack Obama has given up smoking. The pester-power of the women in his life, his wife and daughters, have apparently broken this proud man at last. Michelle Obama announced her triumph on American television.

Why Britannia wasn't so cool for Michelle

When Michelle Obama chose to wear an Alexander McQueen gown to a state dinner in honour of Chinese president Hu Jintao last week, she was presumably unaware of the controversy such a gesture might spark.

Be happy like us, Obamas tell William and Kate

Barack and Michelle Obama sent a goodwill message to Prince William and bride-to-be Kate Middleton today during an interview about their own private lives.

Man sacked by Gap is new king of US fashion – thanks to Michelle

Mickey Drexler fronts $3bn bid for J Crew – the First Lady's favourite label

The locals loved it but Obama jig is a PR pratfall

It had all gone so perfectly to his PR team's plan, from the gentle Q&A sessions to the convivial handshakes. Then Barack Obama hit the dance-floor.

Michelle Obama's 'rock star' status fails to draw crowds

The crowd went wild when Michelle Obama swept into a high-school gymnasium in Las Vegas yesterday morning, with little Harry Reid trailing in her wake and a local Mariachi band, in full dress uniform, entertaining the crowd. But behind the flag waving and anthem-singing, and the sunny optimism of a typical American election rally, there was a palpable sense of unease.

Editor-At-Large: Plans to invade our privacy make Street View look discreet

I thought the point of an Information Commissioner was to protect the rights of the individual, but the current incumbent, Christopher Graham, doesn't inspire much confidence. Last May, Google admitted it had "inadvertently" amassed a staggering amount of personal information about our Wi-Fi networks, collected by its Street View cameras from 2006 until earlier this year. That seems to be a very long time to collect stuff without noticing how contentious it might be. The company said it was profoundly sorry, and had no intention of passing this information on to third parties or exploiting it for commercial gain. Nevertheless, it has not said how it is going to destroy the data or how securely it is currently stored. In an interview last week, Google said it was still deciding what to do with it.

Michelle Obama: The three billion dollar woman

A New York professor of finance has revealed Mrs Obama's staggering impact on the world of fashion

Katherine Butler: What made mothers so superior?

Sarah Palin’s logic is that mothers have special powers, privileged access to some kind of innate, intuitive wisdom that is denied to the childless
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own