Travel
'Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand was extraordinary'

Arizona choses official state gun

Welcome to Arizona; please shoot carefully. And if you really want to blend in with God-fearing locals, you may also want to be in possession of a cowboy hat, a sunburned neck, and at least one revolver, tucked into the waistband of your denim trousers.

Gabrielle Giffords and her journey back from the dead

Three months since she was shot in Tucson, the senator is ready to appear in public to wave off her astronaut husband

Giffords to watch husband blast off

Doctors have given approval for Gabrielle Giffords, the US congresswoman who was shot in the head, to travel to Florida to see her astronaut husband's space shuttle launch this week.

Tucson victims face suspect at hearing

Survivors of the multiple shooting in Tucson, Arizona, two months ago – which left US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords seriously injured – have come face-to-face with the suspect at a court hearing.

James Corrigan: Kaymer's rise to the top threatens new German stereotype: The masters of golf

For years in Germany it was social golf for an exclusive set, preserve of the hacking rich man, with all the gear and no idea. With Kaymer, it’s changing

Beer heir shunned after girlfriend's strange death

The scion of the family that for generations ran America's most famous brewery, Anheuser-Busch, seems to have ducked the threat of criminal prosecution following the death just before Christmas of his former-model girlfriend from a drug overdose in his own bed. But the disdain of his home town may now stick to him forever.

A slice of toast – and another step to recovery for Gabrielle Giffords

The congresswoman has made a fast start, but a marathon still lies ahead

Rupert Cornwell: More chastened Clinton than sunny Reagan, but a second term beckons

Barack Obama's State of the Union address, with its plea for bipartisanship and sober analysis of the problems facing the country, staked out the terrain for his 2012 bid for re-election bid, which – right now at least – he looks odds-on to secure.

Shot US politician's condition improves

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been taken from intensive care to a rehabilitation hospital in Houston, an encouraging step that came after doctors upgraded her condition from serious to good.

Shooting spree suspect Jared Loughner pleads not guilty

The suspect in the shooting of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords pleaded not guilty in court, the 22-year-old's first response to the charges.

Tucson killings case could take years to reach courts

Jared Loughner, the man accused of killing six people during an assassination attempt against US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is due in court for a second appearance, but officials say it could take years for the case to progress through the courts.

Yes we can: speeches fit for a president

Behind many of the great orators of US politics – including Barack Obama – are great speechwriters. David Usborne reports

Giffords' husband 'extremely hopeful' for recovery

Doctors prepared a US congresswoman who was shot in the head to leave behind the Arizona hospital where she dazzled them with her rapid recovery.

Wellwishers turn out as Giffords leaves hospital

An ambulance carried Gabrielle Giffords along a route lined with well-wishers holding flags yesterday, taking the congresswoman to a plane that will fly her to a Houston rehabilitation hospital and her next step in recovery.

Bicycle accident grounds US astronaut

An astronaut has lost his place on Space Shuttle Discovery's final voyage after being injured in a bicycle accident. Timothy Kopra suffered unspecified injuries on Saturday, six weeks before Discovery's planned lift-off. He is on indefinite sick leave.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas