Voices President Obama urged members of Congress to make 2014 a 'year of action' in his State of the Union address

Institutional flaws have held the President back

Carolina Spear (left), sister, and Ingeborg Mootz de Spear (centre) mother of late Venezuelan model Monica Spear, head for the chapel in a cemetery east of Caracas

Stolen camera helps trace new suspects for murder of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear

A digital camera stolen from murdered former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear has led to the arrest of seven people, according to police.

Monica Spear being crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004.

Monica Spear: Teenagers among suspects arrested for murder of former Miss Venezuela and British ex-husband

Monica Spear and Thomas Henry Berry were killed in front of their five-year-old daughter who was injured in the attack

London has come top in a study of the world's most expensive cities to live in.

London comes top in study of the world's most expensive cities to live in

Factors including rent and travel take their toll on the pockets of Londoners

Europe challenge to profits at Ford

The tough economic environment in Europe, along with pressures in South America, have put Ford's goals for its margins at risk, while a string of new product launches are likely to hit the automotive giant's profits next year.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro, right, talks with Spanish journalist, writer and former editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique, Ignacio Ramonet in Havana, Cuba

Castro ‘in good health’, says Spanish reporter

Fidel Castro was “healthy and alert” during a two-hour discussion about current affairs last week, a Spanish journalist told the Associated Press on Monday.

Spies like us: Claire Danes and Damian Lewis as Carrie and Brody in Homeland

Homeland accused of damaging relations between 'hostile' US and depicted countries

Iran, Lebanon and Venezuela have criticised 'poisonous' producers

Air France plane to Paris grounded in Venezuela following terrorist bomb threat

Security services received intelligence of plans to blow up a flight between Caracas and Paris

The Teknik Perdana was looking for oil off the coast of Guyana

Two British scientists on vessel held under 'ship arrest' by Venezuela in territorial dispute with Guyana

Two Britons are believed to be among the crew of a seismic research vessel under effective “ship arrest” today after becoming snarled in a territorial dispute that flared over the weekend between Venezuela and neighbouring Guyana, which dates back over a 100 years to when Guyana was under British control.

Indyplus video: Kidnapping in Venezuela

Kidnapping in Caracas is one of Venezuela's top worrying problems as the capital has become increasingly dangerous. The gangs manage to abduct civilians in a strategy that lasts just seconds.

Watch a couple of examples below caught on CCTV camera:

Nicolas Maduro delivers his speech at the National Assembly in Caracas

President Nicolas Maduro seeks to rule Venezuela by decree

The successor to Hugo Chavez blames US ‘sabotage’ as corruption soars and economy slips towards chaos

Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner takes month off due to brain condition

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been forced to take a month off following the diagnosis of a brain condition.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro expels top US diplomat

US Embassy denies accusations that its staff 'conspired' with South American country's 'extreme right'

US daredevil films 100mph flight through 4-metre-wide mountain valley in a wing suit

Wingman Jeb Corliss calls it 'the hardest thing I've ever done'

French Interior minister Manuel Valls behind cocaine seized by police from an Air France flight to Paris

Three Britons arrested in connection with cocaine drugs haul found on Air France plane

Three Britons are among nine people who have been arrested after 1.3 tons of cocaine were found stashed inside suitcases bound from Venezuela to France.

Interior minister Manuel Valls with some of the drugs haul

Record 1.3 tonne cocaine haul seized on Air France plane to Paris

The drugs were reportedly destined for the Calabrian Mafia

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us