He's rich and well-connected. But Michael Skakel's case deserves close examination

Television History: Land of the fairly free

Matthew Hoffman digs for the truth under the Dust Bowl

Leading Article: End the secrecy and open the files

IN RECENT days, the Public Records Office has been offering up some of its more newsworthy secrets. Officially, under the "30-year rule", all government records older than 30 years should be made public; in practice, records have often been kept far beyond that date. These have included Britain's Cold War preparations for a Soviet occupation of the Shetlands, the existence of a suspected Japanese spy ring in Britain during the Second World War, and Secret Service plans to kill Hitler. All have now been declassified under accelerated release programmes.

America bites the bullet

After a slew of school murders, the US gun lobby looked dead and buried. Then it played its joker: Charlton Heston.

World Cup: Foothold for the Goldfish

Gerard Wright in Phoenix finds the game is at last taking firm root in the US

SDX directors to get pounds 20m

Four directors of SDX, the telecommunications equipment group, will share more than pounds 20m after agreeing to a takeover bid by Lucent Technologies, the US giant that was recently spun off from AT&T.

They thought the L-word was dead and buried, but it's back

"Liberals are variously described as limousine, double domed, screaming, knee jerk, professional, bleeding heart; see also pinko; parlour pink; new left; committed; egghead." Safire's Political Dictionary, by William Safire.

Football: Gallacher spurns his Capitol chance

United States 0

Martin Luther King's death is still a warning

Persistence of racism

Campaigning adverts under fire

`Political' agenda sparks new wave of complaints to industry watchdog, writes Paul McCann

The deck is stacked against us, say casinos

CASINOS - dealt an unwelcome hand in the Budget - are fighting back and demanding reform of the 30-year-old gaming laws.

Joseph Kennedy to quit politics

IN America, the Kennedy name is politics. But it also has other connotations that are less about service to country and more about service to women. Now, the leader of the younger generation of the family, Representative Joe Kennedy, 45, is withdrawing from political life.

The shock of the view

Something as tasteless as the Jerry Springer show couldn't happen here - could it? Jennifer Rodger talks to the man himself

Just not our class, dear

A lawyer weds a plumber. So who cares? Probably both their families, reports Angela Neustatter. Background, it seems, still counts

1968: The year that shook the world by the world's greatest photographe rs

IN THE 1960s young people in the West felt boundlessly optimistic. And 1968 was the year when exhilaration reached its apogee. Student leaders found that they could call on tens of thousands of their peers to join demonstrations. They did not need "adult" backing. They could create their own political power. So when President Lyndon Johnson made the astonishing announcement in March that he was not going to run for a second term in the White House, he told a friend: "I felt that I was being chased on all sides by a giant stampede ... I was being forced over the edge by rioting blacks, demonstrating students, marching welfare mothers, squawking professors and hysterical reporters."

1968: America

REPORTERS, we know, thrive on bad news. But covering America in 1968 was like watching the collapse of civil society. For Americans, it was quite simply one of the most distressing years in the country's history. For Lyndon Johnson, who had started so spectacularly well, the first half of the year was the harshest period a president had ever had to face.
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

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There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit