Student

Matthew Wood, on a year abroad at the University of Alabama, discusses what life is like today in one of the major battlegrounds of the 60s

Hood and Vivian Malone, centre, meet the press on the day of ‘the stand at the schoolhouse door’

James Hood: Civil-rights pioneer who helped end US segregation

In the history of the US civil rights movement it is remembered as "the stand in the schoolhouse door" – when James Hood was admitted to the University of Alabama in June 1963 after a charged confrontation pitting the Kennedy administration against the South's most redoubtable champion of segregation, George Wallace.

Eugene Patterson, a champion of high ethical standards for journalists

Eugene Patterson: Journalist who championed the civil rights movement

Eugene Patterson, who died on 12 January at the age of 89, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and columnist who helped fellow Southern whites understand the civil rights movement, eloquently reminding the silent majority of its complicity in racial violence. Patterson was editor of the Atlanta Constitution from 1960 to 1968, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1967; he had written column every day for eight years. He wrote about the civil rights movement at a time when many Southern newspapers were steering clear.

Jesco von Puttkamer: Nasa engineer who worked with Wernher von Braun

Jesco von Puttkamer, who died on 27 December at the age of 79, was a member of Wernher von Braun's rocketry team in Alabama. Von Braun and his team's work led to the development of the Saturn V rocket, the rocket responsible for landing the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon in 1969.

Anaïs Mitchell

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?

Missouri man 'drew gun after Sandy Hook argument'

A man in Missouri faces assault charges for allegedly drawing a weapon outside a barber shop and shooting at another customer after an argument about the Sandy Hook massacre.

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!"

Authorities investigate after dolphins are found with gunshot wounds in Gulf of Mexico

Authorities are investigating several attacks on dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico after some were found with gunshot wounds, cuts and missing jaws.

A diabetes test: Diabetes rates are soaring in the United States

Diabetes rates soar as 18 States see diagnosed cases double

The number of people living with diabetes is soaring in the United States, as 18 states had at least a doubling in those with the illness since 1995, a government survey found.

Horses head back to the stable after training in preparation for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, California

Carla Gaines: From bad blood to thoroughbreds

The trainer quit counselling, after witnessing too much inhumanity, to find redemption with horses. Chris McGrath hears her story

With Good Timin', a UK No 1, Jones became the first black artist to sell a million copies of a single in the UK

Jimmy Jones: The first black singer to have a UK million-selling hit

The most unlikely feature of rock'n'roll music was the prominence of falsetto singing whereby male singers mimicked female voices. It is prominent throughout the hit recordings of Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Del Shannon, Roy Orbison and Frankie Valli, and one of the first artists to exploit this sound was Jimmy Jones, who had international success with "Handy Man" and "Good Timin'" (both 1960). With "Good Timin'", a UK No 1, Jones became the first black artist to sell a million copies of a single in the UK.

Teenage kicks for Kirani James as he sweeps to Grenada's first gold

On the first day of next month Kirani James celebrates his 20th birthday and will do so as a world and now Olympic champion. The teenager from Grenada last night comfortably won the 400m to complete a scintillating double.

Now hear this! Your guide to the summer's very best audiobooks

It's an enjoyable marathon for Sue Gaisford as she spends 96 hours listening to the season's finest literary CD releases

I Still Dream About You, By Fannie Flagg

Realty rows and romances for Alabama's golden girls

Man jailed for Obama death plot

A man from Uzbekistan was sentenced to more than 15 years in a US prison for plotting to kill President Barack Obama.

The Pierces, Union Chapel, London

What is it about siblings singing together? Sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce follow in a tradition that includes The Proclaimers, The Everly Brothers and The Unthanks, as singers whose voices blend together with apparent ease thanks (probably) to genetic closeness.

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