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Republican politician won't give up his lifestyle to run for the White House

The eye of the storm: Speakes in the White House in 1982

Larry Speakes: Press secretary to Ronald Reagan who later admitted he had put words into the president’s mouth

An assassination attempt plunged Larry Speakes into the brightest of national spotlights as chief spokesman for President Ronald Reagan. When Reagan’s press secretary James Brady was severely wounded in the 1981 attempt on the president’s life, Speakes was thrust into the eye of the storm. As White House spokesman for six years, a long tenure in the sensitive post, he was credited with 2,000 news media briefings.

Edward Snowden delivered this year's Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4

Edward Snowden warns over global threat to privacy during Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message

The NSA whistleblower, who revealed mass surveillance programmes organised by the US and other governments, broadcast his message on Christmas Day

Billie Jean King

Winter Olympics 2014: USA to send two openly gay sportswomen to Sochi, including Billie Jean King

Choice of delegates appears a statement on controversial laws in Russia

6-year-old boy from US starts petition to save Nasa

Connor Johnson has been obsessed with space since the age of 3, and his petition to the president to save NASA needs some help

A cyclist rides past the US Capitol

US debt: Truce in sight as Senate leaders work on compromise ahead of Thursday's deadline

China calls for 'de-Americanized world' not dependent on the dollar as a reserve currency

John Boehner: The Republican House Speaker is expected to seek a deal on the debt ceiling

'This isn't some damn game': Tempers fray in US enters fifth day of government shutdown

Republicans and Democrats continue to blame each other as shutdown crisis worsens

National parks, such as the Grand Canyon in Colorado, and refuse services, have been shut down

Q&A: US shutdown - all you need to know about the crisis in America

Not all government functions will simply evaporate — Social Security cheques will still get mailed, and hospitals will stay open. But many federal agencies will send their employees home, from the Environmental Protection Agency to hundreds of national parks. Here’s a look at how a shutdown will work.

US shutdown: Pound surges to year high against dollar

Greenback took a hit after Congress and White House failed to reach deal to keep funding administration after current budget year ends

Shutdown looms for US government as Republicans seek to derail Obama's healthcare bill by stripping funding

If Congress cannot agree on a spending bill by Tuesday the government will run out of money for non-essential services

US stars Jason Derulo and Katy Perry have tweeted in support of the law

Michael Cera, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo,  Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Jon Bon Jovi: Barack Obama turns to stars to promote his health care law

The President uses Hollywood ‘experts’ to explain the details of the Obamacare system

Oprah Winfrey to receive Medal of Freedom

Chat show host Oprah Winfrey, women's rights activist Gloria Steinem and former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee will be honoured with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

Former US President George W Bush undergoes heart surgery

Doctors discovered the 67-year-old had cholesterol build-up causing a blockage in an artery

US announces plans to transfer two prisoners from Guantanamo Bay as Obama slowly moves towards closing the detention facility

Two prisoners will be transferred out of the controversial prison to Algeria if plans go ahead

Andrew Grice: Nice photo op, George, but it’ll take more to win in 2015

The public want politicians to feel their pain as incomes fall behind inflation – and to know what they are going to do about it

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future