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
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum