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In annual address, the President says 'too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead'

Tom Jones: Businessman

Tom Jones was chief executive of the US aerospace company Northrop for 30 years and took it to the top of its field during the Cold War while weathering a series of scandals. He took the company from a secondary aerospace subcontractor to a leading manufacturer of military aircraft, including the F-5 and F-18 fighter jets and the B-2 stealth bomber.

What’s wrong with the Tories? Why aren’t they being more optimistic?

Voters will turn away if they keep hearing sneers and grumbles from Cameron and co

James Gray enjoys lunch at The Holiday Inn in Sutton with Marian and John Cunningham

Page 3 Profile: James Gray, Christmas diner

He looks like he’s enjoying a nice Christmas dinner

Marco Rubio’s Chatham House speech received applause; but can he convince fellow Republicans?

Michael Ford: Political consultant

Democratic party strategist who guided presidential candidates like Humphrey, McGovern and Mondale

Andy McSmith's Diary: Death-wish cyclists, mooning children and a debate about litter

There has been some agonising in London about why six cyclists were killed on the roads in the space of less than two weeks. To this discussion, Lord James of Blackheath has made his distinctive contribution. His experience is that cyclists are “longing” to be run over. He told the House of Lords, during a debate on litter: “I have seen cyclists put their cycles up against the central reservation... and defy you to run them down while they photograph you doing it. This is what they are longing for.”

Part of history: Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker star in Lee Daniels's 'The Butler'

Film review: The Butler - 'A schmatlzy trawl through African-American history'

The film-makers take a tableau approach to storytelling, whisking us from one melodramatic set-piece to the next

Book review: Hollywood Left and Right, By Steven J Ross

Tinseltown's most radical put the glitz into politics

Static states: Federal workers protest at the shutdown, at the Capitol

Obamacare begins – and the right is terrified that it will work

Out of America: While all the talk is of shutdown, schemes for those without health cover open for business

A scene from Handbagged by Moira Buffini

Theatre review: Handbagged - Thatcher and the Queen make for a mischievous double act

The Queen and Margaret Thatcher are fast becoming as staple a stage double act as Hinge and Bracket. The pair featured in one of the testier confrontations in Peter Morgan’s The Audience. Now Moira Buffini has developed a sketch she wrote for the Tricycle’s 2010 Women, Power and Politics season into a fully fledged play.

US Government shutdown: What does it mean? And what are the papers saying?

A partial shutdown of the US government has begun after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a budget last night, with the Republican-led House of Representatives adamant they would only agree to a deal if it included a delay to the start of Obamacare, the President’s package of health reforms.

Labour Party Conference: Ed Miliband pledges to freeze gas and electricity bills if he wins 2015 election

Typical household would save £120 and an average business £1,800 over the 20-month period

Labour would more than double the number of new homes being built to 200,000 a year

Labour Party Conference: Labour ‘will build 200,000 homes a year by 2020,’ says Ed Miliband

Miliband to target housing shortage and  energy companies in conference speech

Secret Nixon tapes reveal intimate chat with Brezhnev - including smoking tips

Secretly recorded conversations show then US president and Soviet leader chatting warmly before summit in 1973, about subjects including smoking and getting through an official dinner with jetlag

Germany challenges UK over legal basis of GCHQ mass monitoring of global internet traffic

Germany has directly challenged British ministers over GCHQ's reported programme of the mass monitoring of global phone and internet traffic.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing