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

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez 'in good mood' after surgery

Vice President Nicolas Maduro surprised Venezuelans with a Christmas Eve announcement that President Hugo Chavez is up and walking two weeks after cancer surgery in Cuba, but the news did little to ease uncertainty surrounding the leader's condition.

Christmas thins are great to place on the table at the end of Christmas lunch or dinner

Christmas thins

Serves 4-6

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas replaces Bruno Senna at Williams

Valtteri Bottas has been promoted to race driver for the 2013 Formula One season as he will line up alongside Pastor Maldonado at Williams.

Henry, Arsenal’s all-time leading goal-scorer, returned during the Major League Soccer break last January

Déjà vu: Arsène Wenger plots another return for Arsenal legend Thierry Henry

Arsenal manager admits interest in re-signing record goalscorer on loan in January

Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated: Fidel Castro proves he's alive...and gardening

Former leader hits back at claims he had a stroke and had only weeks to live

Hammond: to him 'education' meant leading people from darkness

Roger Hammond: Environmentalist who helped set up the Living Earth Foundation

Roger Hammond, who has died of cancer at the age of 56, was an environmental educator for whom "environment" meant everything, and "education" meant leading people from darkness. He trained as a teacher in Birmingham, and then rose swiftly to become head of science at a large secondary school. He was meanwhile involved in setting up the Urban Wildlife Group and enrolled for a doctorate in plant sociology, acquiring knowledge that would one day give rise to many native hedges and wildflower meadows.

Nicolás Maduro with Hugo Chávez earlier this month

Nicolás Maduro: waiting in the shadow of President Chávez

As he languished in his jail cell 20 years ago, failed coup plotter Hugo Chávez must have been grateful for every friend he could get. It was during that brief nadir that his close political and personal friendship with Nicolás Maduro, a 29-year-old bus driver-turned-union leader was forged.

Lionel Messi scores for Argentina

Lionel Messi on target as Argentina battle past Chile

Argentina's world class forwards were instrumental in a 2-1 away win over Chile last night that gave the visitors a three-point lead in the standings as the South American World Cup qualifying campaign takes a break until March.

Nicolás Maduro with Hugo Chávez earlier this month

Waiting in the shadow of Hugo Chavez

Behind the ailing Socialist President is a likely successor who is even more anti-American

Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez celebrate in downtown Caracas

President Hugo Chavez wins re-election in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised to deepen his socialist revolution after a comfortable election victory that could extend to 20 years his polarizing leadership of the South American OPEC nation.

With 90% of votes counted, Mr Chavez had more than 54% of the vote to 45% for challenger Henrique Capriles, an athletic 40-year-old former state governor who unified and energised the opposition while barnstorming across the oil-exporting nation.

Hugo Chavez wins re-election in Venezuela

Henrique Capriles was probably the most serious threat to Chavez's presidency since he first came to office in 1999, but Capriles too has been seen off.

A mural depicting Venezuelan President and presidential candidate Hugo Chavez

Two candidates, one divided country – but will the election make any difference to Venezuela?

Owen Jones reports from Caracas on the differences – and similarities – between Chavez and his challenger

Venezuelans full of energy invade the streets close to the Venezuelan Consulate in London, where they cast their vote for the presidential elections

Decision time for Venezuela as Capriles faces down Chavez

Venezuelans are today voting in what is predicted to be the country's closest presidential election in a decade.

Henrique Capriles
Capriles studied law at university, but has spent almost his entire adult life in politics, working as a local mayor, member of congress and, since 2008, governor of Miranda, the wealthiest of the country's 23 states. Capriles was charged and cleared – twice – with orchestrating violent protests outside the Cuban embassy during the 2002 coup. He has always denied the accusation and claims he was
mediating between the ambassador and the mob.

Chávez battles it out with young rival in presidential election

Judging by the heated rhetoric, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez could not be taking the challenge from opposition candidate Henrique Capriles more seriously. Even by his own strident standards, the president's recent warning to Venezuela's moneyed classes to vote for him or face "civil war" was inflammatory.

The News Matrix: Thursday 4 October 2012

Riots as police round up money changers

News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Career Services

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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

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With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star