The untimely death at the weekend of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has drawn attention to the unprecedented rise in the use of heroin across the United States.
The economy has never been better - but his approval ratings have never been lower. As Barack Obama prepares for his State of the Union address tonight, what can he hope to achieve?
In charge of America's biggest city, with a budget of £45bn, New York's new mayor Bill de Blasio is less than a month into his job. So how is his fight against inequality going so far?
"The time for the healing of the wounds has begun." There was to be no revenge, no retribution. Instead Mandela showed the world another way to truth and justice: forgiveness.
It was the flagship achievement of his presidency: now amid the disaster of his health care rollout - President Obama is fighting to restore some credibility - as his ratings drop through the floor.
It's "chocolate week", that annual celebration of all things indulgent and sweet. But has chocolate finally overcome its darker history - from child trafficking to crop-ravaged land?
Is it a doughnut? Is it a muffin? No - it's a David vs Goliath trademark dispute as the owner of a small London bakery chain takes on the might of Starbucks UK over a recipe she claims as her own.
Closed for business: 800,000 federal workers are sent home without pay as Republicans and Democrats fail to agree a budget. So what happens next? Crisis - or compromise?
It is crisis governance with the entire American economy at stake. Republicans are threatening to shut down the US government at midnight tonight in a battle over Obama's flagship healthcare law.