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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The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
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Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
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One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone