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

The Zumba Phenomenon: A timeline

Dreamed up by Beto Perez, a Columbian dance teacher who arrived in the United States in 1999 with little money and no English, Zumba Fitness has become an international phenomenon.

Eugene Allen: White House butler who worked for eight US presidents

Occupants of the Oval Office might come and go. But some other faces at the White House never seemed to change. Eugene Allen's was one of them. As a butler, he served eight presidents, a discreet stage hand who for three decades helped keep the show running in the most important political theatre of all. From his place in the wings, and occasionally in a tiny supporting role, he witnessed many momentous events. None surely, though, was as momentous as the one he witnessed in retirement as a specially invited guest, barely a year before he died: the inauguration of a fellow black man to the highest office in the land.

General Alexander Haig: White House chief of staff who held the US government together during the Watergate crisis

Alexander Haig was never elected to any office. His one run for the US presidency ended before anyone really noticed. Yet few people were closer, and for longer, to the epicentre of American power. Haig was a prime specimen of that uniquely Washington creature, the political soldier, whose career was a shuttle between the military and the government.

Stephen Foley: Big pharma needs to compromise

Outlook: It looks like the pharmaceutical industry has been tempted back on to a war footing, but it should tread cautiously. With plans for US healthcare reform becoming unstitched before our very eyes, the industry's main lobby group appears to have decided that $100m it spent on ads in favour of President Barack Obama's shake-up was money down the drain.

US deficit to hit record $1.6trn

finance The White House predicts that the US will post a record $1.6trn (£1trn) budget deficit in the current fiscal year, a congressional source told Reuters yesterday. The Congressional Budget Office had originally forecast the deficit at $1.35trn. In its budget proposal to be released today, the White House predicts that deficits will fall to $700bn by fiscal year 2013.

'The Times They are A-Changin': Bob Dylan at the White House

Bob Dylan, the legendary singer-songwriter whose angry lyrics formed a soundtrack for the 1960s protest era, will headline a White House celebration next month of music from the Civil Rights movement.

A third 'guest' got into state dinner

The US Secret Service says a third uninvited guest was allowed into the White House state dinner for India's Prime Minister in November.

Reality TV crew filmed White House gatecrashers

The couple who gatecrashed a White House state dinner were being filmed by a reality TV show camera crew, the network said today.

Leading article: Guess who's coming to dinner

Not since the ghost of Banquo appeared at Macbeth's table has there been a more shocking case of gatecrashing. Whatever else one might say about Tareq and Michaele Salahi, they don't aim low. The couple might have chosen any number of dinners to intrude upon on Tuesday night. But they went for the biggest of them all: a state banquet at the White House.

Observations: A distant cousin in the White House for angelic Daisy

Daisy Chute is pale skinned with rosy cheeks, and is a member of all-girl classical pop crossover group All Angels, who boast the fastest-selling classical debut in UK chart history. With half a million sales of their two albums, and some more life experience – the now-university-students were still doing their A-levels when they signed a five-album deal with Decca in 2006 – they decided to do something a bit different.

Leading article: A President with a difference

From the moment President Barack Obama stood up to address the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) it was obvious that here was a black leader addressing a black audience. The rhythm of his speech became more emphatic, his language more preacher-like. Just as in Africa, from where he had recently returned, Obama chose to tell his fellow blacks that theirs was the future but they needed to grasp it themselves.

Data stolen in US and South Korea hack attacks

Hackers extracted lists of files from computers they contaminated with the virus that triggered cyber attacks in the United States and South Korea, say Seoul police.

Obama brightens up the White House

With modern tastes and a mission to promote diversity, the President's art collection signals a break with tradition. Arifa Akbar reports

Obama sets-up Olympic Office to boost Chicago bid

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the creation of the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport on Tuesday, which could provide a boost to Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Games.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam