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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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Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture