News

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

Barack Obama in Afghanistan last week

Rupert Cornwell: Who'd have thought it? Democrats are the new he-men

Out of America: Obama's common-sense hawkishness confounds received wisdom and may win him re-election

Grace Dent on Television: The Bridge, BBC4

Spoiler alert: The Bridge may be a dinner-party talking point, but I'd rather watch the Steps reunion

WPP affiliates linked to right-wing US Senator

Individuals and lobby groups linked to the advertising giant WPP have emerged as some of the biggest backers of Jeff Sessions, one of America's most hardline Republican senators.

Hey, Mr President, can you spare a dime?

Barack Obama often gets asked for money, and sometimes he gets his personal chequebook out

Clair George: CIA officer who was convicted of lying to Congress over the Iran-Contra affair

In the mid-1980s, Clair George, who has died aged 81, was deputy director of operations for the Central Intelligence Agency, its third-highest position, in charge of covert espionage operations worldwide. George was in one sense an American George Smiley, a professional less concerned with his own advancement than with the success, and the reputation, of the agency he served. But Smiley never found himself brought before congressional committees to testify about his agency's involvement in, or knowledge of, illegal activities run out of the White House. To protect the CIA, George lied about the Iran-Contra operation, and was eventually convicted of two counts of perjury. Though a presidential pardon meant he avoided a jail sentence, by then he had been forced to resign from the agency he had tried to protect.

On the buses: Presidential hopefuls hit the roads

Obama's Coach Force One joins a tradition of US campaigning

Picture of the day: Statue honours Ronald Reagan's day in the sun

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary William Hague bask in the sunlight as a new statue of Ronald Reagan is unveiled in London's Grosvenor Square.

Leading article: Presidents past

US Independence Day was marked in London with the unveiling of a 10ft bronze statue of the late US President, Ronald Reagan, outside the US embassy. To which there is only one rational response: why? At least it was not funded by the British taxpayer. On the other hand, if the project had depended on British money, there might well have been no statue at all. The only home-grown contribution was Westminster Council's decision to waive a rule that requires someone to have been dead for 10 years before qualifying for a public statue. Which prompts thoughts about who might justifiably qualify for such a dispensation. How about Mikhail Gorbachev – the man who really ended the Cold War?

Ronald Reagan statue unveiled in London

A statue of former US president Ronald Reagan has been unveiled to mark 100 years since his birth.

Leading article: False notes

Musicians like to think they are writing songs for people like themselves, but they can be sorely mistaken, as Tom Petty found when his anthem "American Girl" was blasted out before the right-wing US presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann took the stage. He promptly sent her a "cease and desist" letter.

When politicians fail to strike the right chord

After Tom Petty tells Michele Bachmann to stop using his song 'American Girl', Guy Adams on the perils of mixing pop and politics

Reagan: A president's second act

A new statue of Ronald Reagan in London confirms the reverence with which this once-mocked leader is held. And an heir is expected from the next generation of Republican candidates, says Rupert Cornwell

Jodie Foster - A single-minded star who is nobody's puppet

Jodie Foster has been steadfast in her defence of her friend, and latest leading man, Mel Gibson. She opens up to Kaleem Aftab

Calls to legalise cannabis and ecstasy

Panel of distinguished world figures wants an end to 50-year war on drugs

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Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
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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
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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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

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game