President Obama will forgo five per cent of his salary

Barack Obama forgoes 5% of salary to 'show solidarity' with government workers

Barack Obama is to forgo 5 per cent of his official salary in a move designed to show common cause with government workers hit by the so-called sequestration – budget cuts that are eliminating overtime for some and forcing others to take an unpaid leave of absence.

Councils spends £2m on a bus stop: for that price I'd want Mick Jagger singing 'Gimme Shelter'

Global austerity means that local councils and town mayors are having to cut their coats according to their cloth.

Senator Robert Menendez in spotlight over campaign funds

Prostitute recants sex claims against Senator Robert Menendez

Call-girl withdraws allegations after admitting she was paid to make it all up claims New Jersey Democrat in clear over sex orgy scandal but is still under investigation

Keystone pipeline: Was environmental backlash over the top?

The proposed creation of a pipeline - the Keystone XL - to carry oil from Canada into America has become a rallying point for US environmentalists. They argue it will damage wildlife and prolong America's dependence on fossil fuels. But a State Department draft report released Friday stated: "there would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route." Here's a selection of the American media's response.

Pete Domenici was among those who tried to get Bill Clinton impeached in 1999 - he admitted this week that he sired a child with the daughter of a colleague

I've got a love child, admits senator Pete Domenici who tried to get Bill Clinton impeached

A Republican stalwart, now 80, has owned up to a 1970s liaison with the daughter of a colleague

On the ball: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin

Washington Redskins – time for a name change?

Out of America: US sports teams are dropping Native Indian-inspired names that are viewed as racist

From Mr Normal to chef-de-guerre: How President Hollande found his appetite for leadership

After an uncertain start, intervention in Mali has bucked the President's approval ratings

An embassy security guard arrives at the Gate 2 of the US embassy just minutes after a suicide bomber has detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy

Police investigate cause of Mexico City office blast that killed 32

Explosion in Petroleos Mexicanos headquarters initially blamed on a gas boiler

President Barack Obama pushed ahead yesterday with his choice of the former US Senator Chuck Hagel as America’s next Pentagon chief while nominating his anti-terror advisor, John Brennan, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Chuck Hagel was chosen by Obama because they agree war is always a last resort

Veterans of the Drip will remember that we flagged up a brilliant piece by the New York Times' David Brooks explaining why Chuck Hagel was chosen for the Pentagon. Brooks argument was simple and persuasive. The huge costs of Obamacare will put intolerable pressure on America's budget. Defence spending will need to be cut. Therefore Obama needed a Republican war veteran as political cover.

Page 3 Profile: Jacob Lew, US treasury secretary nominee

The man to replace Tim Geithner?

Book critics vie for Hatchet Job of the Year award

They might be much-lauded grandees of the literary world, but Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Naomi Wolf were all gleefully cut down to size by acid-tongued reviewers last year. The critics responsible are now vying for their own honour: that of Hatchet Job of the Year.

A poll shows more Americans favour stronger gun laws after the Newtown massacre

More Americans favour strong gun laws after Newtown

Stronger gun laws are favoured by 58 percent of Americans, the highest percentage in eight years, according to a national poll conducted after 20 elementary school students were gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut.

Mark and Debra Tice, the parents of Austin Tice, an American journalist who has been missing in Syria since August 2012

Captive reporter's family pleads for release

The family of American freelance journalist Austin Tice, who was taken captive in August while covering the Syrian civil war, appealed Thursday for his release, saying loved ones yearn to have him home for the holidays.

Romney's campaign expenses came in at $45m

Rip-off Romney: How it cost $1,000 a day to follow Mitt

What price a night with Mitt Romney? Now you could probably have a Michelin-starred dinner with change from £100 (Mitt doesn't drink) but when the 2012 US Presidential election was at its epoch back in October, you wouldn't get much change from $1,000 (£615). And you'd have to share your meal with Romney's exhausted campaign staff.

Pentagon builds military network to rival the CIA

The Pentagon is planning a major expansion of America's international spy network, creating a new generation of undercover agents to get a better handle on critical issues such as China's growing military might and the rising influence of fundamentalist militants in Africa.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
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exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
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Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
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'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
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New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
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Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
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booksThe best children's books for this summer
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Day In a Page

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
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn