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

Carola Long: 'It’s possible to go down a mumsy route in a J Crew store'

Fashion speak has a clever way of inventing new buzzwords to help us to shop without guilt. There's the "forever" buy (the romantic replacement for "investment") and now the term "basics" has also been updated. Basics have become essentials.

Katy Guest: Fashion's passion-killer: flesh-coloured tights

A lot of people wouldn't think it to look at me, but every now and then there comes along a fashion moment that really cheers me up. Not in the traditional run-out-and-buy-it way, of course. But because you've got to celebrate anything that persuades young and pretty people deliberately to make themselves look uglier.

Obama proves a hit with his comedy routine

For all the ups and downs of Barack Obama's Presidency, he has proved that he can still deliver a mean punch-line, using his second turn as comic speaker-in-chief at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner to tell topical jokes about his political opponents, his aides, and the US media and, from time to time, to poke fun at himself.

Liberty belles: The women who made America great

Flappers, bohemians and screen sirens – these women made America great, says Patrick Robinson, Gap's head of design, as he previews an exhibition of Stateside style at New York's Metropolitan Museum

The Zumba Phenomenon: A timeline

Dreamed up by Beto Perez, a Columbian dance teacher who arrived in the United States in 1999 with little money and no English, Zumba Fitness has become an international phenomenon.

High fives for the children of Haiti

The people of Haiti took time out from preparing for the imminent hurricane season yesterday to welcome an impromptu visitor, as Michelle Obama began her first solo foreign trip with a tour of the country's badly damaged capital.

US school children warm to chic Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy turned up the heat on her first trip to Washington as France's first lady, visiting a school in a poor neighbourhood and lunching at Ben's Chili Bowl.

Leading article: Things can only get better

For Government ministers fearful of their future after the election, Tony Blair's return to the domestic fray yesterday must have been heartening. Not that even his most fervent admirers could believe that this master of the optimistic vision and the self-deprecating humour could turn the election single-handed.

Downing Street has a new Iron Lady – only, this time, Maggie lives at No 11

Michelle Obama called Maggie Darling a 'Scottish firebrand', and she's just the latest Treasury matriarch to prove a real asset

Obama delays Pacific tour for final push on healthcare reform vote

Narrow Democrat majority in Congress means President must win over waverers

Leading Article: The power of role models

Michelle Obama's impromptu visit to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington has had quite an effect. A group of teenagers from the London borough's schools visited the White House last week to receive another pep talk from Barack Obama's wife. "I see myself in you all," she told them. "The important thing is to know that you can do anything."

Basso and Brooke show signature prints

Basso and Brooke showed their signature tight, digital print dresses today as London Fashion Week neared its climax, with the highly anticipated Burberry collection set to be unveiled.

24-Hour Room Service: W Washington DC, US

It certainly doesn't disappoint when it comes to location: the windows of my room framed the Washington Monument; my next door neighbours were a certain Mr and Mrs Obama.

John Rentoul: Touchy-feely catchy voter

Gordon Brown's new willingness to indulge in public soul-baring is part of an elaborate triple bluff

The schoolchildren who found a way into Michelle Obama's heart

White House opens its doors to 10 Islington pupils as personal guests of the First Lady
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The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
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Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
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Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
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The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living