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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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John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most