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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'

Cannes Diary: How Jodie got her man

Jodie Foster said yesterday it was "natural" for her to ask Mel Gibson to star in The Beaver. She said: "I've been friends with Mel for over 15 years and we've had many, many long discussions about life and so it was a natural place to go."

Farewell, Christian Carion, 113 mins (12A)<br/>Insidious, James Wan, 102 mins (15)

The spy who came in for some cold champagne

Nice day for a revolution: Why May Day should be a date to stand up and change the system

May Day is the occasion we celebrate the grand achievements of the workers of the world in making our world a far, far better place to live in. There is, unfortunately, not too much to celebrate these days. The past 30 years are littered with battles and skirmishes that have resulted in defeat after defeat for organised labour.

Bag an Iron Lady icon

One of the iconic symbols of the Thatcher years is expected to raise £100,000 when it is auctioned for charity.

Richard B Wirthlin: Reagan adviser who pioneered the art and science of the modern pollster

If Ronald Reagan transformed American politics, then that was due in no small measure to Richard Wirthlin. Reagan might have been the "Great Communicator", but Wirthlin was the man who made sure the Reagan message hit home. In the process, he more or less invented the modern trade of campaign pollster.

Wisconsin's 'war on workers' spreads to other states

The showdown over union rights that has paralysed politics in Wisconsin is spreading to other American states, threatening to trigger a national "workers war" of a kind not seen since Ronald Reagan fired air traffic controllers en masse 30 years ago.

Will the new US-Russian arms treaty blunt the nuclear threat?

Pulitzer-winning author David E Hoffman explains why it will take much more to end the atomic age

Nicholas Foulkes: Consoled bynostalgia in a 10-gallon hat

Our writer is keen to catch up with the 'Dallas' folk

50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know, By John Sutherland<br/>Faulks on Fiction: Great British Characters and the Secret Life of the Novel, By Sebastian Faulks

Know your Hermeneutics from your Deconstruction? Fear not, two leading critics break down the theories and provide fresh insights into classic texts

Why the cult of Reagan still rules in Washington

In his centenary year, the late President is more influential than ever &ndash; even among Democrats.

Reagan&rsquo;s Alzheimer&rsquo;s &lsquo;began while in office&rsquo;

A public dispute has broken out between the former president Ronald Reagan’s two sons over whether their father began suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s while still in office.

Reagan had signs of Alzheimer's during first term, says son

America's oldest president was showing signs of the disease in 1984, according to a new book

Body of Pentagon official in landfill site

police in Delaware are investigating the murder of a former Pentagon official after his body was found in a rubbish dump.

Obama's little light reading: tales of spies and a Republican hero

Barack Obama doesn't just spend his holidays playing golf and buying junk food for his daughters: like any good bookworm, he also finds time to plough through extremely long hardbacks at the rate of one every few days.

Secret papers reveal Thatcher's fury during 1980 crisis

Unemployment is rising, the Government's programme of brutal public spending cuts is hurting millions and cash-strapped captains of industry complain of imminent collapse. It might sound like 2010 but this was 1980 and Margaret Thatcher responded to concerns that her economic medicine was not working with ill-tempered vigour.

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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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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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'