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

Inmates' Shawshank jailbreak is foiled

Guards foiled plans for a jailbreak similar to that shown in the film The Shawshank Redemption when they found a tunnel that inmates had dug, leading to a sewer.

Chavez calls TV channel to dispel rumours of death

A healthy-sounding President Hugo Chavez called Venezuelan state television from Cuba yesterday to dispel rumours fanned by a nine-day silence that he had died undergoing cancer treatment at a hospital in Havana.

Silence from Hugo Chavez fuels fears over health

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has been out of sight for a week, speaking only through Twitter messages and written statements while undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba.

Chavez with Fidel Castro in Cuba, where he has gone for cancer treatment

Chavez to focus on his fight for life, not votes

Hugo Chavez thrives on drama. After coming to power thirteen years ago, the former military officer has survived a coup, likened a US president to the devil and used a combination of charisma and oil revenues to sweep away all serious opposition. But today his raging invincibility is in doubt.

International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation, Royal Festival Hall

A showcase for three young conductors, a malfunction at the printers, and for the first time in my experience no programmes for the audience and the prospect of blind-tasting their talents.

Pope Benedict XVI sits in Revolution Square on last night

Raul Castro greets Pop Benedict XVI in Cuba

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba in the footsteps of his more famous predecessor, gently pressing the island's long-time communist leaders to push through "legitimate" reforms their people desire.

Chavez back at work

President Hugo Chavez is back working on government affairs after undergoing an operation in Cuba.

Hugo Chavez's health could hobble his campaign for re-election

Chavez recovers after undergoing cancer surgery

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez came out of cancer surgery on Monday night in Cuba and is recovering in a hospital, sources reported yesterday.

Amerigo Vespucci was born in 1454

Paradise Lust: Jury still out on man who gave his name to America

Amerigo Vespucci remains a complex figure. By Peter Popham

Amerigo Vespucci was born in 1454

Paradise lust: the man who sexed up America

He had two continents named after himself and thrilled Europe with the salacious tales of what he saw there. But, 500 years on, can we trust Amerigo Vespucci's accounts? Peter Popham discovers the full story

President Raul Castro’s wide-ranging reforms have brought new hope to Cubans whose economic aspirations were shackled for 50 years by the US-led embargo

Younger Castro steers Cuba to a new revolution

Oil, foreign investment, free enterprise, and golf courses are on their way

Ed Miliband plans tax on bank bonuses

Getting young people into work using a tax on bankers' bonuses is a major priority for the Labour Party, leader Ed Miliband said as he launched his local election campaign.

Opponents jostle to take on Chavez

Opposition leaders will hold the nation's first primary election to choose the strongest challenger to the populist President, Hugo Chavez.

Bruno Senna

Senna name returns to Williams

Brazilian Bruno Senna has signed to drive for Williams this season. The move means the 28-year-old is joining the team for which his uncle Ayrton Senna was driving when he was killed in 1994.

Antonio Vazquez, Mexico's self-styled 'Grand Warlock,' predicts that the Barack Obama will fail to regain the White House

Mexican Warlock spells end for Obama

Antonio Vazquez, Mexico's self-styled "Grand Warlock", has made his annual new year forecasts, including the prediction that the US President Barack Obama will fail to regain the White House.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor