Italian Senate passes key austerity package

The Italian Senate approved a crucial €70 billion ($99 billion) austerity package aimed at convincing investors that the eurozone's third-largest economy won't be swept into the debt crisis.

US politicians add to the heat on Murdoch's empire

In a dangerous development for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, prominent United States Senators have demanded that the firm be investigated under US corruption laws over payments made to British police officers.

Rupert Cornwell: Grover Norquist: The man who is holding the US to ransom

Out of America: Crucial talks to find $4trn of savings could fail because of the influence of one anti-tax zealot

Think tank fears war over South China Sea

Growing frictions among nations bordering the South China Sea, exacerbated by the increasing assertiveness of the Chinese military, could lead to armed confrontation and even war, a leading Australian foreign policy think tank warned yesterday.

Former governor convicted of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat

Rod Blagojevich yesterday became the fourth Illinois governor in just half a century to be convicted of committing a crime, when he was found guilty on a host of corruption charges, including an attempt to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became President.

Leading article: A victory – but not an end to the equality battle

Gay marriage has become a defining issue in the past few years in what are often called America's "culture wars", which pit socially liberal, secular Democrats against hard-right, often highly religious Republicans. But the outcome of the gay marriage battle in New York is a reminder that America's internal splits are not as clear-cut as some believe.

New York governor signs law approving gay marriage

Governor Andrew Cuomo made same-sex marriages legal in New York yesterday, a key victory for gay rights ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

Village People: A popular but shadowy figure

Ed Miliband's decision to end elections to the Shadow Cabinet leaves one MP with the never-to-be-equalled record of being elected to this body 14 times.

Richard Long: Human Nature, Haunch of Venison, London

The world has many mysterious stone circles. Who made them? And why? We never really know. Their mystery is part of their charm. They are symbols – but of what exactly? Now we have two more. These two have cropped up – or bedded down – in a pair of 19th-century rooms in Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, and they sit on polished parquet floors beneath coffered ceilings. These stone circles, unlike the others, are not old at all. They are by Richard Long, our most celebrated land artist. Land artists make their art in reverential partnership with nature in the raw. They use wood, stones, slate, mud. They often make it in the land itself so that it gets slightly lost, as if to tell us that it is really part of its environment. This land art in Mayfair has made the journey from outdoors to indoors.

Obama signals Afghanistan troop pull-out as new defence chief is ratified

President Obama signalled in an Oval Office address last night that America's commitment to the war in Afghanistan is on the wane and 33,000 of just under 100,000 US soldiers are to be withdrawn within 15 months.

The Sketch: Salvoes on reform bring out lordly left's conservative side

There may be new readers unfamiliar with the remark of that toriest of Tories, Lord Salisbury, so here it is again: "What do we need change for," he said. "Aren't things bad enough as they are?"

Pakistanis accused of CIA collusion over Bin Laden raid

Spy agency arrests at least five in attempt to 'shut down unauthorised US operations'

Cameron concedes that health reforms should be ripped up

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will today endorse wholesale changes to the Government's controversial health reforms, giving patients the "right to challenge" poor services for the first time and guaranteeing them a choice of doctors and treatments.

David Cameron sets out NHS reform changes

David Cameron set out the first significant changes to the Government's controversial NHS reforms today as he admitted ministers had "learnt a lot" in recent weeks.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
News
i100
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
News
The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect