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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World Cup 2014
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Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
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AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
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The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
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Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
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Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor