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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'

It was a day like any other campaign day. Then Mrs Duffy took to the stage

After insult is caught on microphone, PM is forced to embark on apology dash

Matthew Norman: Now Clegg must move in for the kill

The Lib Dem leader is perceived to be vulnerable on foreign affairs. But my hunch is that this is his moment of maximum opportunity

Eugene Allen: White House butler who worked for eight US presidents

Occupants of the Oval Office might come and go. But some other faces at the White House never seemed to change. Eugene Allen's was one of them. As a butler, he served eight presidents, a discreet stage hand who for three decades helped keep the show running in the most important political theatre of all. From his place in the wings, and occasionally in a tiny supporting role, he witnessed many momentous events. None surely, though, was as momentous as the one he witnessed in retirement as a specially invited guest, barely a year before he died: the inauguration of a fellow black man to the highest office in the land.

Rupert Cornwell: Are we going to see Ronald Reagan on America's $50 bill?

Out of America: Deep-seated US conservatism when it comes to bank notes may yet keep Ulysses S Grant in place

Capitalism: A Love Story (12A)

Michael Moore's new documentary doesn't just lay into the bankers behind the recent financial Armageddon.

General Alexander Haig: White House chief of staff who held the US government together during the Watergate crisis

Alexander Haig was never elected to any office. His one run for the US presidency ended before anyone really noticed. Yet few people were closer, and for longer, to the epicentre of American power. Haig was a prime specimen of that uniquely Washington creature, the political soldier, whose career was a shuttle between the military and the government.

Alexander Haig, Reagan's Doctor Strangelove, dies

The soldier and statesman served three presidents but was always haunted by his 'I'm in control' gaffe

Former US Secretary of State Haig dies

Alexander Haig was a four-star general who served as a top adviser to three US presidents and had presidential ambitions of his own.

Obama to offer big freeze on spending

President tries to convince Americans that he's on top of $1.3 trillion deficit

The liberal voice of US radio forced to shut up

As Air America goes off the airwaves, it's another blow for the left – but how serious is its demise, or had the station simply had its day, asks David Usborne

Johann Hari: The age of the killer robot is no longer a sci-fi fantasy

You can't appeal to robots for mercy or empathy - or punish them afterwards

Matthew Norman: This is a terrible reverse, but don't write off Obama

There is discontent about the US economy. But that is expected to improve dramatically

Leading article: A Republican echo chamber

The announcement that Sarah Palin, the Republican 2008 vice-presidential nominee, is joining Fox News as a commentator offers further proof of the fusion in America of politics and the media/entertainment complex. The phenomenon is nothing new – think merely of a former Hollywood actor named Ronald Reagan – but it has notably grown in recent years.

Steve Connor: Lifting HIV travel ban is long overdue

Reagan's speech epitomised his administration's blind faith in the ability of technology to solve almost any global problem

US lifts ban on foreigners with HIV imposed by Reagan

The United States yesterday lifted a 22-year ban on HIV-positive foreigners travelling to its shores, a restriction described by President Barack Obama as "rooted in fear rather than fact".

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