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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Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
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A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
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Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
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'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
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Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
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Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
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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
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

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

Save us from small screen superheroes

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

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
How to make a Lego masterpiece

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