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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Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
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Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
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Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
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Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
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Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world