Rupert Cornwell: Merry Christmas for the President (believe it or not)

Out of America: After the mid-term rout, Obama looked down and out – but a run of successes has changed the game

Johann Hari: The under-appreciated heroes of 2010

The endless whirr of 24/7 corporate news ignores the people who actually make a difference

Hague welcomes US signing of nuclear treaty

Britain today welcomed the ratification of a US-Russian nuclear arms control treaty by the American Senate and urged Moscow to follow suit.

Obama gets his way on gay troops and nuclear treaty

Barack Obama had double cause for cheer as he celebrated a burst of accomplishment which included the Senate ratification of a nuclear-arms treaty with Russia and congressional repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Obama signs bill ending ban on gays in US military

Declaring that members of the US military will no longer be asked to lie, President Barack Obama fulfilled a campaign promise today and signed a landmark law repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the armed services.

Obama closes in on nuclear treaty

President Barack Obama's strategic nuclear arms treaty with Russia secured enough votes on Tuesday to clear a Republican procedural hurdle and appeared headed toward ratification in the US Senate this week.

Senators urged to back Russia treaty

President Barack Obama lobbied senators by phone yesterday to back an arms treaty with Russia that he has called a national security imperative, as a top Senate Democrat conceded "house-by-house combat" would be needed to win enough Republican votes to prevail.

David Usborne: Look beyond this vote and Congress is little changed

Has a new era of enlightenment descended on Capitol Hill? In just a few days, furiously debated bills to extend tax cuts and finally abolish sexuality discrimination in the military have been passed with almost heady bipartisan co-operation. Barack Obama is signing laws more quickly than Christmas cards.

Chavez 'would expel US ambassador'

Tension flared between the US and Venezuela over Washington's nominee for ambassador on Saturday. President Hugo Chavez warned the diplomat would be detained and put on the next flight home if he sets foot in the country.

Joy as 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy repealed

After 17 years and 14,000 expulsions, US Senate finally rejects controversial ruling

US Senate lifts gay soldier ban

The Senate voted to end the 17-year ban on openly gay troops, overturning the Clinton-era policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."

Executed in haste, exonerated at leisure

Dakota Indian among victims of mass execution may be pardoned

Silvio Berlusconi: A leader who has eroded Italian democracy

The reign of il Cavaliere hangs in the balance. The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, faces a vote of no confidence in the Italian Senate and lower house today. The vote has been prompted by the defection of Mr Berlusconi's one-time ally, Gianfranco Fini, from the governing centre-right coalition.

Berlusconi: getting rid of me would risk financial meltdown

Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi yesterday warned parliamentary rebels that they risked plunging the country into financial meltdown should they vote down his government in today's no-confidence motion.

President Obama in Bush-era tax cuts climbdown

US president Barack Obama brushed aside opposition in his own party today and announced an agreement with Republicans on a plan to extend expiring income tax cuts for all Americans, renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and grant a one-year reduction in payroll taxes.

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss