Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The best music of 2012: Americana

“There is,” wrote Cyril Connolly as long ago as 1938, “no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall.” And that was in the days before CBeebies. So what music found its way into my ears and heart this year in spite of the intrusion of the Rastamouse theme song?

Zig Ziglar: Motivational speaker

Zig Ziglar was a motivational speaker whose "Success Rallies" and "Born to Win" seminars, more than 25 self-help books and countless audiotapes attracted millions of followers with advice on career advancement and moral uplift. He won over crowds with his faith-filled proverbs and earnest metaphors about setting goals and facing adversity. "If you're going to have to swallow a frog," he would say, "you don't want to have to look at that sucker too long!" Or: "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want!"

Gingrich refuses to step aside despite Santorum victories

Newt Gingrich was yesterday resisting growing demands to drop out of the Republican presidential race and allow his surging fellow conservative Rick Santorum an unimpeded shot at wresting the nomination from the faltering frontrunner, Mitt Romney.

Rick Santorum wins crucial primaries in the deep south

Rick Santorum scored an upset double primary triumph in the deep south last night, guaranteeing that the Republican presidential race will drag on for weeks if not months yet. His victories in Alabama and Mississippi deliver a fresh jolt to the limping front runner Mitt Romney, and raise pressure on Newt Gingrich, his rival for the conservative vote, to drop out and thus set up a one-on-one Santorum-Romney battle for the Republican nomination to face president Obama in the autumn.

More headlines

Deadly tornado tears through the US midwest

Search teams bathed in the harsh glow of floodlights early today picked through rubble of neighborhoods and commercial districts demolished by a tornado that killed at least 30 people in the southwestern Missouri town of Joplin.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Garage, London

Jason Isbell strides onstage and apologises for the slimmed-down nature of his band, trimmed from five to three for his current tour. "We're not so much the 400 Unit tonight as the Jason Isbell power trio," he admits, but nobody's complaining: Alabama blue-eyed soulster Isbell has the burly, no-nonsense look of someone who can take care of himself pretty well. Besides which, he's one of the few guitarists for whom the phrase "power trio" doesn't portend endless indulgence, but rather an attention to texture and rhythm that plugs any holes in the arrangements.