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”.

Members of the Senate return from their holiday to tackle the fiscal cliff

Senate leader warns fiscal cliff deal unlikely

Prospects of a deal to pull the American economy back from the "fiscal cliff" appeared dimmer than ever tonight after the Democratic leader of the Senate admitted that attempts to agree an alternative to the automatic tax and spending changes due to kick in next month were likely to fail.

Why have the Tories rejected the spirit of 2012?

The Conservatives’ new tactic is a betrayal of all that Cameron stood for when he became leader

US heading over fiscal cliff, says Senate leader Harry Reid

Almost £370bn of tax rises and spending cuts will to come into force on 1 January if a deal is not agreed

Barack and Michelle Obama in Hawaii on Christmas Day

Fiscal cliff crisis forces Obama to abandon Hawaii trip

With only days to go before the US goes over the “fiscal cliff”, President Obama cut short his Christmas break in Hawaii to arrive back in Washington DC in a last-ditch attempt to hammer out an alternative to the more than $600bn in looming spending cuts and tax rises.

Quiz of the Year 2012 part 7: Film

The only shame is that not every movie released in 2012 could be Battleship

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks while visiting military personnel eating Christmas Dinner at Anderson Hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Obama cuts holiday to help avert 'fiscal cliff'

After just four days of vacation, President Barack Obama will leave Hawaii on Wednesday evening to return to Washington in a last-ditch effort to reach a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

Advocates fear gun control agenda will divert Obama from immigration reform

President Barack Obama's pledge to pursue a package of gun control measures next month has immigration advocates concerned whether the effort could delay or distract the White House from moving quickly to fulfill another of his second-term priorities.

Speaker John Boehner, second from left, departs after a House Republicans meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington

'How we get there, God only knows': Vote pushes US closer to cliff’s edge

Time running out to avert damaging spending cuts and tax rises as Republicans reject Boehner’s ‘Plan B’

Harlon Carter, the Texan who led the NRA from 1977 to 1985

The NRA - marksman’s friend that took aim at Washington

The group was set up in 1871 to train Americans how to shoot. But in the 1970s it found a new target – politicians

Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, found itself without enough backing on its own side after a number of GOP representatives defected at the last minute

US deal to avert ‘fiscal cliff’ cancelled as Republicans defect

Pre-Christmas plan to avoid more than $600bn spending cuts and tax rises unlikely

Page 3 Profile: Chuck Hagel, former US senator

The favourite to be Obama's Defence Secretary?

Black Republicans are only ‘tokens’ of progress

Did you know that Representative Tim Scott will be the first black Republican senator since 1979? Well, that's a fact. But what's far less clear is what his appointment says about the racial attitudes of the GOP, according to Adolph Reed in the New York Times.

The Republican Speaker has offered tax rate rises for the rich

Fiscal cliff: Partisan differences narrow in negotiations over US budget

Republican Speaker and White House offer concessions as deadline for automatic cuts nears

Liberated from elections, Obama makes a change we might yet believe in

In Newtown, the President sounded like a leader reborn – but can he deliver?
Barack Obama and Susan Rice, pictured at a UN meeting at the White House earlier this week, are old friends
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent