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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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
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Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
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Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
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Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink