News Carl Lewis has accused Chris Christie of intimidation

Chris Christie, the embattled governor of New Jersey whose hopes for presidential nomination have been hit by revelations of alleged politically-motivated lane closures and misspending of federal aid, was dealt a new blow last night after the former Olympic sprint and long jump champion Carl Lewis accused him of “intimidation”.

Florida’s incumbent governor, Rick Scott, won in 2010 by a narrow margin

Medical marijuana law may prove to be election high for Florida's Democrats

Politicians are used to courting a particular section of society come election time, but in a first for America, it may be the marijuana vote that decides the Florida governor’s race.

Hair today: David Cameron with a bouffant style (left) and his current cut

Indyplus politics: Why hair matters so much to politicians

Few get closer to the Prime Minister than his barber, so no wonder Cameron's has been awarded with an MBE. And hair has always been big in politics, explains Andy McSmith

Mitt Romney has accepted Melissa Harris-Perry's apology after panelists on her US programme made fun of his African-American grandson

Mitt Romney accepts Melissa Harris-Perry's apology but says 'children are beyond the line'

The former Republican said his family is moving on after panelists made jokes about his African American grandson

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

President Barack Obama, with Michelle Obama, listens to women's concerns about the Affordable Care Act, known as 'Obamacare'

Is the tide finally turning for Obamacare? After a slow start, the President’s signature policy must sink or swim in the new year

After early technical issues that gave ammunition to right-wing critics, enrollments for the medical insurance have surged in December - but will it continue?

Chris Christie has been riding high in polls to be the Republicans’ presidential candidate in 2016

Chris Christie engulfed by gridlock scandal: Republican frontrunner accused of closing New Jersey bridge road as retribution against Democrat town mayor

New Jersey governor has claimed no advance knowledge of the incident which saw the closure of two access lanes from Fort Lee

Market Report: Traders bet US Fed will keep the taps turned on into the  new year

A two-day meeting kicks off today at the US Federal Reserve to decide whether to bring to an end to the quantitative easing sooner rather than later.

Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

Germany set for grand coalition as left-of-centre Social Democrats vote in favour of joining ruling alliance

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives were on course to form a grand coalition government.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan speaks at a press conference to announce the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

America gets a budget deal – just don’t mention tax and welfare

Congress to avoid another federal shutdown with bipartisan pact

James Moore: Short-term fixes are so much fun for America's politicians

Outlook America's law makers are once again engaging in posturing and horse trading over budgets and spending in an attempt to avoid another government shutdown.

US President Barack Obama pauses while making a statement about the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela in the briefing room of the White House

Washington nears US budget deal to avoid new government shutdown

US politicians are closing in on a deal to ease the impact of spending cuts worth up to $200 billion (£122 billion) which are due to hit home next year, it emerged today.

Demonstrators marching towards Government House in Bangkok; an estimated 100,000 protesters flooded the streets

Stalemate in Bangkok: protests go on despite Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s surprise election offer

Analysts say call for early elections is unlikely to satisfy opponents who want to rid country of Shinawatra family's influence

Marco Rubio’s Chatham House speech received applause; but can he convince fellow Republicans?
Congressional aides predict Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could seal agreement

US Senate ‘very close’ to agreeing deal to raise debt ceiling and end shutdown

Senior Senate aides say deal is about to be announced

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

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable