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.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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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
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?