Voices

My tally is in my head rather than on my laptop. Not being a high-flying politician, I guess my enemies are fewer and easier to remember than hers are.

President Obama has made overhauling immigration a priority

Barack Obama opens the door for 11 million illegal immigrants to stay in US

President optimistic of progress as Republicans soften line

Ready for service: US to lift ban on women in front-line combat jobs

The US military will formally end its ban on women serving in front-line combat roles, officials said yesterday, in a move that could open thousands of fighting jobs to female service members for the first time.

Jim Armitage: Defence big guns will want to target Hagel

Global Outlook The defence group BAE is among the biggest British spenders on Washington lobbying, splurging $3.5m in 2012. Over the past five years, it's spent some $24m, according to OpenSecrets. That's twice as much as even Barclays did during the aftermath of the banking crisis. Rolls-Royce, another big supplier to the US military, spent $7.3m over that period.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed: Politician who opposed US policy in Afghanistan

The politician and religious leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed, who died in Islamabad on 6 January at the age of 74 following a heart attack, was an advocate of Islamic democracy who transformed the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami party into a populist outfit. He was a strong critic of the US's counter-terrorism policies, and was widely known for his opposition to the involvement of the US and its allies in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama pushed ahead yesterday with his choice of the former US Senator Chuck Hagel as America’s next Pentagon chief while nominating his anti-terror advisor, John Brennan, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Obama's choices to lead Pentagon and CIA run into Republican opposition

Nominees for posts of Defence Secretary and head of CIA can expect rough ride from senators

American taxpayers face paying the bill for Senate's 'fiscal cliff' deal

President Barack Obama yesterday pressed the House of Representatives to vote in favour of a Senate-backed deal that would avert the swingeing spending cuts and soaring tax rates of America's "fiscal cliff".

Ben Affleck in Armageddon: Appeals to the anti-comet pro-Aerosmith vote

How Ben Affleck’s Hollywood CV will propel him into the US Senate

Could Ben Affleck be swapping the Hollywood Hills for Capitol Hill?

Page 3 Profile: Chuck Hagel, former US senator

The favourite to be Obama's Defence Secretary?

Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown Village Cemetery in Newtown

Newtown massacre: Washington shows first ripples of what could become an extensive push for curbs on owning and buying guns

Only hours after President Barack Obama chided his nation at an inter-faith memorial service in Newtown, Connecticut, for not doing enough to protect its children from violence, a small but swelling chorus broke out in Washington offering him support for new curbs on gun ownership.

'Time for the President to stand up and lead … this should be his number one agenda'

As President Obama prepared to speak at a vigil in Newtown last night, there were growing calls for him to make good on his promise of "meaningful action" on gun control.

As mourners filled Sunday services in Newtown, Connecticut, yesterday, the names of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting are seen on a US flag in the town centre

"These tragedies must end", Obama tells grief-stricken Newtown as pressure grows for action on gun control

President Obama promises to use “whatever power” his office holds to prevent “more tragedies likes this.”

Invisible Ink: No 152 - Edgar Box

Unusually for this column, we'll not begin with a profile of the author, for reasons that will become apparent. Rather, let's start with the books themselves – three crime novels set in the early 1950s starring war veteran (at 28) Peter Cutler Sargent II, now a womanising PR guru. In the first, Death in the Fifth Position, he's hired to work for a dance company when their prima ballerina does a dive from the rafters on opening night. Someone cut her cable, and soon the sleuth finds himself in a nest of thespian vipers trading razor-sharp quips as the bodies pile up.

Suspected arms dealer, Viktor Bout, is arrested after a sting in Thailand in 2010

Those who let Magnitsky die were hoping the case would die with him. They were wrong

When Sergei Magnitsky lay close to death in Moscow's Butyrka Prison in 2009, his worsening illness left untreated and exacerbated by beatings, few people heard his cries of pain. A man who had uncovered something dangerous, he was left to meet a horrible end, and none of the people who let it happen imagined that years later his demise would become an international cause célèbre and one of the most poignant reminders of the dangers of doing business in post-Communist Russia.

House Speaker John Boehner.

Senate considers options on fiscal cliff

As congressional leaders prepare to meet Friday morning at the White House to discuss the looming fiscal cliff, much of Washington is focused on the potential for compromise between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.

Zeboski’s photo of the Reagans during the 1980 election campaign

Walt Zeboski Photographer who chronicled Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign

Walt Zeboski, who died on 12 November aged 83, was a photographer for the Associated Press who chronicled Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign and a succession of California governors.

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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine