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

Venezuela: Chavez mulls US cancer 'plot'

President Hugo Chavez has asked if the US government might somehow be responsible for the rash of cancer cases among Latin American leaders.

Paul di Resta has experienced plenty of 'highs and lows' this season while driving for Force India

Force India name Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg as 2012 drivers

Force India have finally confirmed another of Formula One's worst kept secrets by announcing Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg will be their driver line-up for next season.

Lord Bell:

Bell Pottinger head launches investigation over lobbyists

The chairman of Bell Pottinger's parent group has launched an internal investigation after this week's controversy about the lobbying company.

Venezuela prays for kidnapped Major League baseball star

Baseball-mad Venezuela is waiting anxiously for news of the fate of one of the country's top players, Wilson Ramos, kidnapped from his family home while on winter break from his US Major League team.

Tim Walker: My ringside view of Miss Russia's 'inner beauty'

Notebook: Was inner beauty on the minds of the (mostly) male, middle-aged organisers?
Illich Ramirez Sanchez, or Carlos the Jackal, in the 1970s

'Carlos the Jackal' faces new trial over terrorist attacks in France

Already serving life for murder, the Venezuelan-born 'revolutionary' will face court over the 1980s killings

Doctors reject claim that Chavez is dying

Doctors treating President Hugo Chavez for cancer have disputed a claim that he has only two years to live.

The Sickness, By Alberto Barrera Tyszka

Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, this lapidary novel comes from a Venezuelan writer-journalist who has also co-authored a sceptical life of Hugo Chávez.

La Wally, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Prom 22, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 23, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 29, Royal Albert, London

A surefooted heroine should appeal to a modern audience, but this Italian reality show falls flat

Miracle maestro: Gustavo Dudamel brings music from Venezuela's slums to the Proms

Cometh the hour, cometh "The Dude". A few years ago, it felt as if classical music's energy was flagging. It needed a superhero: a young, hip, charismatic figurehead who could take centre stage and inspire a new generation to embrace an art that should be accessible to all but is not always perceived that way. Then, out of the impoverished urban sprawls of Venezuela, emerging from a legendary music education scheme known as El Sistema, along bounced Gustavo Dudamel.

Hugo Chavez to undergo further chemotherapy

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has said he will start another round of cancer chemotherapy soon and expects to become bald within days.

Video: Chavez defiant on birthday

The Venezuelan president has used his 57th birthday celebrations to say he will beat cancer - and stay in power.

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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine