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

Adolfo Calero: Commander of the US-backed Nicaraguan guerrilla group the Contras

Although he was a lawyer and businessman – a former Coca-Cola executive – Adolfo Calero was also the overall commander of the so-called Contras, who launched a guerrilla war against Nicaragua's ruling communist Sandinistas in the 1980s. A good friend of the US President Ronald Reagan and of the CIA, it was Calero who lobbied successfully for tens of millions of dollars in military and other aid for the Contras – short for Counter-revolutionaries, since the Sandinistas had won power through a 1979 revolution against dictator Anastasio Somoza.

Bob Dylan's a hit at the White House

Bob Dylan, who once wrote that "even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked", has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.

Focal Point: The 555ft Washington Monument may soon have
high-rise rivals

Rupert Cornwell: Low-rise capital could finally reach for the sky

Out of America: The growing pressure on space could force Washington to end its ban on tower blocks

Amol Rajan: History in the making – and we can all be part of it

As my esteemed colleague Jerome Taylor reported for this newspaper yesterday, the fastest-growing website that campaigns for social change is coming to Britain. Change.org has helped a 22 year-old nanny juggling two jobs take on Bank of America, forced the Motion Picture Association to adjust a film's rating and, most thrilling of all, helped bring the appalling tale of Trayvon Martin to public attention. When the parents of that murdered 17-year-old couldn't interest anybody in their son's death, they went to Change.org and garnered 2.2 million signatures instead. That's for one petition. The site launches 15,000 every month.

Amol Rajan: A democratic forum that actually gets things done

The most thrilling carnival of democracy in Britain takes place in the capital tomorrow night. London Citizens, the largest alliance of community groups in the country, are hosting their mayoral hustings in Methodist Central Hall. Anyone anywhere who thinks our democracy or civic activism are having a bad time of it should read reports of the evening, or better still, watch the video and then re-evaluate.

Cowan: philanthropist

George Cowan: Nuclear scientist

George Cowan, who died on 20 April aged 92, was a chemist who influenced everything from the Manhattan Project and the hunt for evidence of the Soviet Union's first nuclear tests to the Santa Fe Opera. After graduate studies at Princeton, Cowan continued his nuclear research as part of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. Cowan was a troubleshooter for the effort at various research sites around the country and was among the few people who had knowledge of the bomb's separate components.

Labour peer Lord Ahmed suspended over 'Obama bounty'

Labour peer Lord Ahmed has been suspended by the party while it investigates reports that he offered a £10m "bounty" for the capture of US President Barack Obama.

Obama's secret service agents sent home after 'prostitution' probe

A dozen US Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to provide security for President Barack Obama at an international summit have been relieved of duty over alleged misconduct.

Obama's tax return shows he pays 20 per cent rate

US President Barack Obama has published his tax return, showing his income fell last year.

Obama: 'If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon'

Obama donors get White House visits

President Barack Obama is using privileged access to the White House to reward his most generous financial supporters.

Obama has learnt to talk British

Diary: The US Visit

From Downton to the White House: Hugh may be coming to dinner

Diary: The US visit

Barack Obama offers warm welcome to Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping

President Barack Obama offered a warm Oval Office welcome to Chinese Vice President, Xi Jinping, who is widely seen as the next leader of his country, but warned that as it grows in stature China must recognise it has increased responsibilities to the rest of the world.

David Cameron accepts White House invitation

David Cameron and Barack Obama will hold face-to-face talks on Afghanistan and the global economic crisis when the Prime Minister makes an official visit to the White House next month.

Mourners at Friday's funeral of the nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who was killed on Wednesday when two bombs were placed on his car

Tension at new high as Iran vows to punish West

Tehran threatens to close Straits of Hormuz if US enforces an embargo

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project