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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'

Dubya: The surreal afterlife of an ex-President

What has the most unpopular US President of all time been doing during his first year of retirement? Telling bad jokes – and defending his reputation, discovers Alex Hannaford in Texas

Archie Brown: It was events in Moscow in 1988 that led to the revolution of 1989

The growing freedom within the Soviet Union did much to raise expectations throughout eastern Europe, but the change in Soviet foreign policy was, however, the ultimate facilitator of all that happened in 1989.

We'll drink to that: pubs hail the return of real ale

Ailing brewers raise a glass as cask beer sales rise for first time since 1982

Challenger for California first voted at age of 46, critics reveal

The last time California chose a new governor, a famous film star and former Austrian bodybuilder stunned the world by turning up on late-night television to announce he was putting himself up for election.

Driving Like Crazy, By P J O'Rourke

Diatribes that don't find top gear

Robert Fisk: Mangling everything in its path, Typhoon Sarah blows in to Asia

Our writer is there to witness the carnage as Alaska's former mom-in-chief touches down in Hong Kong

Jody Powell: Trusted press secretary who accompanied Jimmy Carter from Georgia to the White House

Jody Powell's association with the man he would serve as President began like a B-movie cliché, in a shopping centre in southern Georgia in 1966. "Hi," said the beaming figure with the toothy grin, thrusting a hand in his direction, "I'm Jimmy Carter and I'm running for governor." The young student was quickly smitten, the voters of Georgia unfortunately less so. Carter was defeated that year. But he won the governorship in 1970, and with Powell at his side went on to complete one of the most extraordinary political ascents in modern US history.

John Rentoul: 'If it moves, tax it': the back story

Next on the Catch-Up Service, a half-familiar quotation from Irwin Stelzer in an article in The Daily Telegraph, 12 August. He attributes it to Ronald Reagan, describing the attitude of previous governments towards the economy:

Cory Aquino: President of the Philippines who brought democracy to the islands

When Cory Aquino stepped down after six years as the first woman president of the Philippines, she was widely viewed as having made little impact on her country's deep-rooted social and economic problems.

Designer for the stars

Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Bill Clinton wear LA tailor Amir's suits. Guy Adams meets a lover of luxury with friends in high places

Is the party over for the Republicans?

The White House is lost, scandal is rife and a certain lady in Alaska has resigned her governorship. The Republican Party is, by any measure, a mess. Can it bounce back? Only if it radically alters its political leanings, suggests the Independent's chief US commentator, Rupert Cornwell

Chilling emails reveal hate of racist who shot museum guard

FBI and anti-extremist organisation had monitored alleged gunman since 1981

Andy Martin: In love with our inner Terminator

We can't wait for global warming to kill us off. We want apocalypse now

Nancy Reagan: I still see Ronnie in my bedroom

If Nancy Reagan was offended when Barack Obama made a quip about her performing séances with the dead, she apparently got over it quickly, even offering his wife, Michelle, advice on the phone afterwards on how to ratchet up the social diary at the White House.

Petrov's Dilemma, Radio 4<br>R.E.S.P.E.C.T &ndash; The Art of Backing Vocals, Radio 4

Meet Stanislav, the Russian who saved the world
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links