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

The News Matrix: Wednesday 3 October 2012

Plan for 'poor' to go to private schools

The Dougherty crime spree was reminiscent of 'Bonnie and Clyde'

Winckler's Wacky World: Bonnie and Clyde bonanza

Guns for auction, an interesting diplomatic gift, the global nappy shortage, Jiminy Cricket's B.O. problem and the first intergalactic art

My Life in Food: Alejandro Bello

'I learnt to love caribbean food when I was growing up in venezuela'
Zhang Cuiping of China wins the first gold medal of the Paralympic Games

China secure first gold medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games

China's Zhang Cuiping won the first gold medal of the London Paralympics as the Shooting got underway at the Royal Artillery Barracks today.

Alan Bissett: The Red Hourglass, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Here's a Spider-Man reboot with a difference. Over the course of a hypnotic hour, Scottish Writer of the Year Alan Bissett weaves together a series of compelling, odd little monologues, performed in character as various species of spider.

'At least 20 killed' as rival inmates riot in Venezuelan prison

At least 20 people have been killed in a Venezuelan prison riot after two groups of inmates battled for control of the site.

Rolando Schiavi

Boca Juniors captain Rolando Schiavi apologises for 'food for rats' Twitter rant

Boca Juniors captain Rolando Schiavi has apologised for a Twitter outburst in which he complained that the team had been served "food fit for rats" in a Venezuelan hotel.

No one knows exactly when the Matisse painting was switched for the imperfect forgery

FBI seizes Matisse masterpiece replaced by a fake

A painting by Henri Matisse, which was mysteriously stolen from a Venezuelan gallery around 10 years ago, has been seized in Miami, after what the FBI described as a successful undercover "sting" operation.

Olympic teams fail to bring doctors to treat their athletes

Some Olympic and Paralympic teams are not bringing any doctors to treat their athletes should anything go wrong during the Games.

Hugo Chavez government 'intimidates opposition'

The concentration of power in the executive by President Hugo Chavez's government and its removal of human rights safeguards have given Venezuelan officials free rein to intimidate, censor and prosecute critics and challengers, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

Hugo Chavez dismisses health concerns

President Hugo Chavez said he is completely free of cancer and assured Venezuelans that physical limitations stemming from his recuperation will not affect his re-election campaign.

Kolya Lukashenko, flanked by Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez and his father, President Alexander Lukashenko, in Caracas this week

Who's that boy in the grey suit? It's Kolya Lukashenko - the next dictator of Belarus...

Seven-year-old, illigitimate son named by Lukashenko as leader in waiting

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez seeks re-election

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez rallied tens of thousands of supporters, wearing his signature red beret and singing a folk song as he launched his re-election bid.

"Subversive" newspaper crossword stirs Venezuela

A veteran Venezuelan crossword-writer has been accused of hiding a coded message to assassinate President Hugo Chavez's brother in the latest surreal twist to election year politics in the South American nation.

Argentina’s UK ambassador ambushes William Hague with questions on the Falklands

The occasion was today’s launch of the Foreign Office’s annual report on human rights, and William Hague was keen not to let the media monopolise the questioning. So he turned to a lady sitting on the front row, among the great and the good at Lancaster House

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
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick