News Yes we can (fit it all in): Obama has come under fire for his fat-filled photo shoots

The POTUS has revealed his past as a pot-user. These days, says David Usborne, Barack Obama has other vices

Maltilda may be on her way to Broadway

The RSC is considering taking its hit musical Matilda to Broadway.

Market Report: WPP gets a boost from US – and the City is lovin' it

News from across the Atlantic will have put a smile on Sir Martin Sorrell's face last night. As his WPP empire closed at its highest since last March, one of its major rivals posted forecast-beating figures on Wall Street while predicting a jump in advertising spending over 2012.

Beagles at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show

The beagles have landed – but who will be best in show?

Every dog has its day and at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show, that day is full of pomp, preening and a lot of posing.

DVD: Friends With Benefits, For retail & rental (Sony)

Two young, single people who decide on a sex-only relationship, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis keep going on about how phoney Hollywood romantic comedies always are, but Friends With Benefits is hardly a radical alternative.

Lake Placid Lodge, New York State

The Big Six: Luxury lakeside retreats

Lake Placid Lodge, New York State

Mr Briggs' Hat, By Kate Colquhoun

"A Sensational Account of Britain's First Railway Murder," declares the cover in the manner of a 19th-century penny dreadful. In fact, this book, stemming from the bludgeoning of respectable banker Thomas Briggs in a closed compartment on the evening of 9 July 1864, is anything but sensational. Kate Colquhoun's irreproachable unpicking of the case is meticulous, patient, thorough and measured. A real-life police procedural of the highest order, it provides a picture of Victorian society as vivid and detailed as WP Frith's painting of Paddington Station in 1862.

Cioffi: he persuaded many students at Essex to pursue philosophy

Professor Frank Cioffi: Philosopher and authority on Freud

Frank Cioffi was a remarkable member of the early-1950s Oxford generation of philosophers. In his later career he was known for the fresh, original, combative precision of his essays and lectures, his half-century of critical engagement with Freud and his illuminating explorations of often neglected aspects of Wittgenstein's later works. The enormous range of his reading and conversation provided a wealth of accessible examples, often humorous or earthy, to anchor difficult philosophical points. His explorations of the character, scope and complexity of humane knowledge offer strength to those who seek to develop a philosophy of the humanities to supplement or rival the philosophy of science and expand our philosophical understanding of human knowledge.

Gazzara with the dancers Sandy Garrett, left, and Victoria Scruton during filming for 'Run For Your Life' in 1965

Ben Gazzara: Intense and powerful actor best known for his work with John Cassavetes

Ben Gazzara managed a career that embraced critically acclaimed independent and art-house films, popular movies, television and stage. He may be best known for three searing performances in John Cassavetes films but also worked with directors such as Otto Preminger, Spike Lee, the Coens and Lars von Trier. He claimed that youthful idealism made him turn down a lot of roles but in later years he refused few jobs, simply to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. In such a prolific career his ability to make the smallest gesture register means he is often better than the films he is in.

Thompson, the New York hotel group, has come to London's Belgravia. Belgraves sports sleek décor and a Mark Hix restaurant. Go to Thompsonhotels.com

Globejotter: Thompson hotels, The Atom digital radio and Charles Dickens tour

The latest news and views from the world of travel

French connection: Roman Polanski is filiming Carnage in the Parisian suburbs
Pollock Krasner House in Springs

Jackson Pollock: Painting a picture of long island

Jackson Pollock would have turned 100 this weekend. Chris Coplans travels to New York state to explore the locations that inspired the artist during his short and turbulent life

Strauss-Kahn's wife goes online

The French journalist Anne Sinclair, wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, launched the French version of the news website The Huffington Post yesterday with its founder Arianna Huffington.

Invisible Ink: No 107 - Hillary Waugh

There are many sub-groups within the mystery genre, but one strand resurfaces with metronomic regularity: the police procedural. Readers love to see how investigations unfold, but real-life accounts of detection often involve relentless rounds of doorstep interviews and checking records, which don't make for high drama.

George Eastman, left, who founded Kodak in 1892, and Thomas Edison pose with their inventions in this late-1920s photograph

This Kodak moment may be an extremely sad one

With the photographic giant facing bankruptcy, David Usborne assesses its place in society

Book Of A Lifetime: Light Years, By James Salte

James Salter's 1975 novel, 'Light Years', is the story of a marriage between two highly civilised Americans, Nedra (the woman) and Viri (the man). It is a good marriage full of good parties, and then it is a less good marriage full of infidelities. Finally, it is no marriage at all. They go their separate ways and suffer strange adventures that leave one of them dead and the other bewildered and drowning in a new marriage.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project