News Activists carry posters as they shout slogans during a protest march against the gangrape and murder of a teenager, in India. The Indian politician has apologised after she said women invite rape.

She came under criticism from members of her own party who distanced themselves from her remarks

Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown Village Cemetery in Newtown

Newtown massacre: Washington shows first ripples of what could become an extensive push for curbs on owning and buying guns

Only hours after President Barack Obama chided his nation at an inter-faith memorial service in Newtown, Connecticut, for not doing enough to protect its children from violence, a small but swelling chorus broke out in Washington offering him support for new curbs on gun ownership.

'Time for the President to stand up and lead … this should be his number one agenda'

As President Obama prepared to speak at a vigil in Newtown last night, there were growing calls for him to make good on his promise of "meaningful action" on gun control.

Editorial: Obama's chance to act on guns

The President has shown that he can make progress through compromise

Editorial: Mr Obama wins, with or without a budget deal

The broad principles of a long-term solution to the US budget deficit are clear

In India the place that matters this week is Gujarat

There has been a lot of heat and tension in India’s parliament over past week as the government has won grudging and expensive approval for its foreign supermarkets investment policy and there have been noisy scenes over allegations that Wal-Mart has been corruptly lobbying for the cause.

Jack Brooks: Unpredictable but influential Democrat

Jack Brooks was a Congressman who served 42 years in the US House of Representatives. An unpredictable but influential Texas Democrat, he who was one of the few politicians who cast fear in President Lyndon Johnson.

Merkel wins party backing for re-election campaign

Chancellor Angela Merkel launched her bid for re-election today, telling the party faithful that her government had steered Germany through the worst of the European financial crisis and was best equipped to guide it through what may still be tough times.

Now Congress must sort out the fiscal cliff crisis

Which way will the US turn over the fiscal cliff? The key question about George Osborne's Autumn Statement is one the Chancellor can't answer

Our Chief Economics Commentator sets the scene for this week's statement

Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis Reimer: Calling for change in law

Retired US military officers say changes in law could prevent suicides

A group of senior retired generals and admirals are calling for Congress to amend a recent law that they say "dangerously interferes" with the ability of commanders to battle the epidemic of suicides among members of the military.

David Blanchflower: Ideology rules the Coalition's jobs policies

Economic Outlook: They introduced the labour market equivalent of thalidomide

Economic growth continues to slacken off

India's economic growth slackened further in the last quarter, leaving the emerging market on track for its worst year in a decade. Gross domestic product grew by 5.3 per cent between July and September, compared with 5.5 per cent in the previous three months.

US growth rate revised up to 2.7%

The Commerce Department said today that growth in the third quarter was significantly better than the 2 percent rate estimated a month ago

Mary Dejevsky: Britain should pass its own Magnitsky Act

It is possible that a 44-year-old Russian, whose body was found outside his house in Weybridge two weeks ago, died of natural causes. Such things happen. But this does not alter the fact that Alexander Perepilichnyy's death is mighty convenient. Who benefits? Other Russians whose nefarious activities stood to be exposed by his cooperation with Swiss banking investigators. Nor would they be just any other Russians, but state officials, police, tax officers and others implicated in the case of Sergei Magnitsky.

Alexander Perepilichnyy lived in exile in Weybridge at the St Georges Hill estate

Alexander Perepilichnyy: Another mightily convenient Russian death

Who benefits? People whose nefarious activities stood to be exposed  by this whistleblower.

India considers cash handouts to the poor

India's ruling party wants to send direct payments to nation's poor

India's ruling Congress party presented an idea Tuesday that it hopes will win it the next elections: cash handouts sent directly into the bank accounts of poor people, replacing a corrupt and inefficient web of subsidies and rations that often fail to reach the intended beneficiaries.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'