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

Jolyon Myers, video game designer

Insight: Jolyon Myers, video game designer

'Exploring the worlds I design is wonderful'

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

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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star