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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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game