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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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'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
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Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
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Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
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Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

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Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
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Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
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footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
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Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells