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”.

President Obama has made overhauling immigration a priority

Barack Obama opens the door for 11 million illegal immigrants to stay in US

President optimistic of progress as Republicans soften line

Denunciation: Protester at Friday’s prolife march in Washington

America is a nation still divided by a woman's right to choose

Out of America: Forty years after Roe vs Wade made abortion legal, the issue is more contentious than ever

Sasha, Malia and Michelle Obama at the ceremony

Liberated and liberal Obama sets second-term agenda

This was the real Barack Obama: not the calculating party politician with an eye on the next election, not a president sometimes accused of aloofness, even passivity – but a national leader boldly setting out what he wants to do, and only too aware he has precious little time to achieve it.

Second inaugural addresses: fraught with difficulty and rarely memorable

The second inaugural address has rarely been memorable. Save for Abraham Lincoln’s, which struck a series of soaring notes, including “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty source of war may speedily pass away”, they are fraught with difficulty.

Obama must seize the chance to make history

Between the two inaugurations of Barack Obama, expectation and reality have been turned on their head. When America's first black president took the oath of office on that frigid, unforgettable 20 January 2009 in Washington, the mood was of exhilaration – but amid the deepest economic slump in three-quarters of a century and two unfinished wars, the prospects by any rational measure were sobering. How different now. His first term yielded much, including a stimulus package that probably warded off a depression, and a giant step towards universal US health coverage. Yet today the mood is downbeat, the dreaded term "lame duck" is on every lip. But the pessimism is misplaced. In fact, this is a moment of rare and real opportunity to tackle America's problems, and the Obama second term – in contrast to that of his predecessor George W Bush – could be one to remember for all the right reasons.

Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell in 'The Campaign'

Blu-ray & DVD review: The Campaign (15)

Will Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a sleazebag congressman who is a shoo-in for a fifth straight term until Zach Galifianakis's klutz (he's incapable of opening doors) Marty comes along, backed by two unctuous industrialists (John Lithgow and Dan Ackroyd, both wasted here).

Obama's new foreign affairs team: (from left) John Kerry, Secretary of State; Chuck Hagel, Defence Secretary; John Brennanm, CIA Director

All the President's men: Barack Obama names his national security team

President Obama has nominated the three men he wants in his national security team. So what do they tell us about how he sees America's place in the world?

President Barack Obama pushed ahead yesterday with his choice of the former US Senator Chuck Hagel as America’s next Pentagon chief while nominating his anti-terror advisor, John Brennan, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Obama's choices to lead Pentagon and CIA run into Republican opposition

Nominees for posts of Defence Secretary and head of CIA can expect rough ride from senators

Tough talk: The 113th congress is sworn in

America's big bucks battles only starting

Three potential deficit showdowns could send the US into default

Ben Chu: The fiscal cliff fun is only just beginning

Outlook It doesn't appear to have dawned on the financial markets yet, but the frantic negotiations over the tax rises in the fiscal cliff were only the start of it.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the Queens neighborhood of Rockaway Park

Second blow for Hurricane Sandy's victims as Congress abandons recovery Bill

The fiscal cliff deal might have protected the American economy from another blow, but the last-minute agreement has left storm-hit communities in the north-east without billions of dollars in promised aid after  special measures put together following Hurricane Sandy were shelved by Congress.

This dysfunctional system has just kicked the can down the road

President Obama has too often seemed disdainful not only  of the recalcitrant House, but of the entire legislative process

Barack Obama speaks at the White House last night flanked by a group of ‘middle-class Americans’

Taxpayers foot the bill for US 'fiscal cliff' deal

It was a face-saving agreement for politicians. Now 160 million voters must pay for it

Political wiles: Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, who could handle the opposition

The Republicans need a dose of Lincoln's human factor

Out of America: The party's swing even further to the right has prevented compromise in American politics

The President said he will push legislation 'without delay' and urged Congress to hold votes on the bill next year

Barack Obama 'optimistic' over last-ditch 'fiscal cliff' deal

President has four days left to reach agreement with Republicans and stop sudden tax rises

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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before