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Officials in Chicago have vowed to fight a ruling by a federal district judge which threatens to lift a long-standing ban on the sale of firearms in the city, one of the last vestiges of the toughest crackdown on gun ownership in the US.

Hillary Clinton has recently taken to Twitter

Chicago visit fuels speculation about Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions

The slow fade of Hillary Clinton since her departure from the State Department in Washington is over. Not only has she delighted her legion fans by opening her first twitter account this week but tomorrow she is in Chicago for an engagement that will further fuel speculation about her presidential ambitions.

Maria Llanos watches on as her daughter hugs a friend at the soon-to-close Lafayette School in Chicago

Yes, we can close schools: Rahm Emanuel’s cash crisis in Chicago

More than 10 per cent of city’s elementary facilities shut down by Obama’s former right-hand man

Jonylah Watkins died in hospital on Tuesday

Six-month-old girl shot dead while having nappy changed

Infant hit five times as Chicago gunman fires into father's minivan in suspected gang attack

Traffic camera firm caught in Chicago’s biggest ever bribery case

In what may turn out to be the biggest single corruption case Chicago has ever seen, a traffic camera company has admitted that it spent roughly $2m (£1.3m) over four years on a barely disguised bribery scheme to support and expand its lucrative contracts with the city’s transportation department.

Hadiya Pendleton performed at the President's inauguration

Michelle Obama to attend funeral of teen shot dead weeks after inauguration performance

Family welcome the first lady's appearance

Don't Occupy my wedding: Bride’s big day ruined as anti-Nato protesters descend on Chicago

As Elizabeth and Tim Alberts stepped out of the church in which they’d just married, the last thing they’d have expected was their big day being hijacked by Occupy Chicago protesters.

Wanted: new chief of staff to run the White House – and get on with Obama

On the cusp of what promises to be a tough re-election year, Barack Obama yesterday confirmed his most senior aide, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, is stepping down early after a relatively brief, but often scratchy, 12 month in the post.

Joan Smith: Is Mrs Obama related to Miriam Clegg?

The New York Post raised the spectre of a woman making a covert bid for power

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all