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

Sergey Brin and Larry Page met at Stanford University in California, as computer science students. Their talent was spotted in 1998 by Andy
Bechtolsheim, founder of Sun Microsystems, who put up $100,000. Google is now valued at over £125bn

Where's the smart money? Private sector urged to run universities – and turn Nobels into cash

Tories want big business to establish science and technology institutions in bid to boost economy

Jolyon Myers, video game designer

Insight: Jolyon Myers, video game designer

'Exploring the worlds I design is wonderful'

Hello Giggles: the relentlessly upbeat Zooey Deschanel as Jess (with Jake Johnson, who plays Nick) in her upcoming
sitcom 'New Girl'

'I do try really hard to be normal'

Zooey Deschanel is playing to type as a girly kook in her lauded new sitcom. It might not be to everyone's taste, but it's just the way she is, she tells Sarah Hughes

Zooey Deschanel: 'I do try really hard to be normal'

Zooey Deschanel is playing to type as a girly kook in her lauded new sitcom. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it's just the way she is

Doesn’t Kim Jong-un realise his haircut is nothing if not Western imperialist?
Peter Carey attempts his Booker hat-trick in April with The Chemistry of Tears (Faber, £17.99)

Why it's best to spend 2012 between the covers

From Australia to Antarctica, and from historical fiction to up-to-the-minute, state-of-the-nation pronouncements, Katy Guest looks forward to the titles that we'll most enjoy losing ourselves in during the coming year

Comic book artist Jerry Robinson

Jerry Robinson: Comic book artist whose most famous creation was The Joker

A central figure in the so-called Golden Age of comic books, Jerry Robinson, who has died aged 89, was perhaps best known as the creator of The Joker, probably the best known villain in comics history.

Open Jaw: Airlines go for Olympic gold

Where readers write back

Rail manager committed suicide after corrupt dealings exposed

A senior manager at Network Rail committed suicide with his wife after the net began to close in on a scam involving bribes from corrupt executives.

US soldiers charged over comrade who 'shot himself'

Eight US soldiers were yesterday charged in relation to the death of a fellow GI who authorities say apparently shot himself in Afghanistan after being assaulted and taunted with racial insults by his comrades.

Rebel ally freed after 15 years

An American woman paroled after 15 years in a Peruvian jail for aiding left-wing guerrillas returned to the US yesterday.

Claiming jockey Brendan Powell Jnr made a splash at Plumpton yesterday with his first treble

Turner back after tests of fitness and stamina

Her return in its final, dark days serves as a timely reminder that few shone more brightly on the British Turf in 2011 than Hayley Turner. The first female rider to win a Group One prize outright when taking the July Cup on Dream Ahead, she won a second on Margot Did in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York – the very race in which Alex Greaves had made that initial breakthrough for their sex, by sharing a dead-heat in 1997. But Turner was brought down to earth within 10 days, breaking an ankle in a fall at Bath.

DSK gloomy on the euro as treaty talks start

The former International Monetary Fund chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn described the euro as a "raft about to capsize" yesterday on the eve of renewed treaty talks in Brussels.

Ed Ruscha's 'Standard Station' and 'A Bigger Splash' by David Hockney at the Getty

California dreamers still make a splash

A sprawling, multi-gallery exhibition of West Coast art shines a light on artists who flourished before the market took over their world, says Karen Wright

New York rail experts are favourites to win HS2

Project manager Parsons Brinckerhoff is favourite for the development partner role on the proposed £32bn High Speed 2 rail link from London to Birmingham.

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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention