MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry apologises after mocking Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson

Segment on her TV show poked fun at Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson

Pope Francis named Time Magazine's person of the Year: The new spiritual leader on the block

The award recognises impact, not ethics. But in the Pope's case, we have a voice reminding us of tenderness, mercy and compassion

Martin Bashir hosted a regular afternoon news discussion show on the US TV channel MSNBC

Princess Diana made him, Sarah Palin destroyed him: the rise and fall of Martin Bashir

'I deeply regret what was said, and will always appreciate our viewers'

Sarah Palin, pictured here in 2011

Sarah Palin fears 'liberal' Pope Francis being influenced by the 'sneering media'

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said Pope Francis has “taken her aback” with his liberal interpretation of Christianity and has expressed fears he may be being influenced by the mainstream media.

Sarah Palin, pictured here in 2011

Page 3 Profile: Sarah Palin, hockey mom

Oh no, what now?

Tea Party star, Michele Bachmann, bows out of politics during ethics inquiries

The political landscape in the United States is set to lose one of its most outspoken  - and polarising - characters with the announcement by Tea Party heroine Michele Bachmann that she will not be seeking re-election to the House of Representatives in her Minnesota constituency in next year’s mid-term elections.

Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips has launched a range of products and merchandise

Phillips launches ‘Brand Melanie’ as she tries to become the darling of the American right

Right-wing columnist launches her own branded merchandise as she takes on the American market

Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been in the right place at the right time

Page 3 Profile: Marco Rubio, the Republican Party Senator for Florida

Isn't he the next Republican presidential candidate?

4 (3) Adam Afriyie, 44, Conservative, Windsor

Adam Afriyie? Good luck to him. He'll need it

The Sunday papers were buzzing with news that Britain's alleged answer to Barack Obama is launching an audacious bid to topple David Cameron. But, er, who is he?

Amy Poehler was great success on Golden Globes - but who is she?

Tina Fey and Poehler replaced Ricky Gervais as this year's hosts. But unlike Fey, her blond counterpart is relatively unknown this side of the pond

The next female Prime Minister is closer than you think

As of this January, woman will occupy more seats than ever in the US Congress. Various theories abound as to why this is, most popularly, that controversial Republican comments on rape and abortion sparked a backlash, but Jennifer Lawless of American University has a better idea: media bias against women is on the decline.

REACTION: Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan Vice Presidential debate

Debates between Vice Presidential candidates typically draw in half the audience of their presidential counterparts - but those who did settle down last night to Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan were treated to a classic. And, this time, the Democrats didn't take a pasting. We round-up the morning's reaction.

Page 3 Profile: Bird Bird, the sage of Sesame Street

Surely it's not the end of Sesame Street?

Simon Calder: Fast track to the last great frontier

The man who pays his way

Never mind Paul Ryan's policies, check out those pecs

Interest in Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice-presidential running mate, is understandably at an all-time high. But it appears that Americans aren't particularly intrigued by his policies – instead, they want his abs. After "Paul Ryan budget", the top search term on Google for articles about the Republican candidate is "Paul Ryan shirtless". The 42-year-old used the P90X video workout – which apparently takes 90 days of exercise and good nutrition to turn you from a Mr Creosote to a preening Adonis – to craft his enviable physique. Its year-on-year sales have doubled in the past week.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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