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

The Weasel: Hymns to the joyful

Ever come across fifty-quid bloke? A phenomenon of the baby-boom generation, he's not uncommon. You may have one for your dad or have the dubious pleasure of being married to one. Fifty-quid bloke is a middle-aged music fan who hasn't got to grips with downloading and therefore drops £50 or thereabouts on CDs whenever he enters a big record shop. Since I can't stand big record shops, I have fifty-quid bloke moments on Amazon. My most recent splurge was prompted by a long article in The New Yorker about American folk music. Near the start, it mentioned that an Atlanta record producer called Lance Ledbetter had issued "what many consider the greatest gospel compilation ever made: a six-CD set called Goodbye, Babylon". Not being a great gospel fan, this did not lure me.

Don Helms: Hank Williams' steel guitarist

A highly influential steel guitarist, Don Helms was best known for his membership of Hank Williams' band The Drifting Cowboys. His distinctive style, with its blues inflections and characteristic use of the upper octaves, featured on over a hundred of the singer's classic sides, including "Cold, Cold Heart" (1950), "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)" (1951) and "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1952).

Fiction, but not pulp - 720,000 recycling leaflets

A city council printed 720,000 copies of a leaflet praising its residents' recycling - but used the wrong picture on the cover.

US oversight office backs Boeing protest over $40bn deal

A US government oversight office plunged one of the defence industry's most lucrative and bitterly contested contracts into chaos yesterday when it backed a protest from Boeing against the US Air Force's decision to award a $40bn (£20.4bn) in-flight refuelling aircraft replacement programme to its European rival EADS.

Ernst Stuhlinger: Rocket scientist who helped the US become the leading space power

Ernst Stuhlinger was one of the most talented members of the German group of rocket scientists who developed the V-2 missile and subsequently played a key role in most of the major events that led to the birth of the Space Age and enabled their adopted country, the United States, to become the world's leading space power.

Ex-Bush adviser Rove must testify in case that could shame White House

Karl Rove, the former trusted adviser to President George Bush, will be compelled to testify on Capitol Hill in a high-profile investigation of alleged political meddling by the White House in decisions made by the US Justice Department.

Honeydripper (PG)

John Sayles delves into the early years of rock'n'roll. Danny Glover plays the owner of a blues club in Fifties Alabama who tries to stave off bankruptcy by hiring the New Orleans legend "Guitar Sam" for a one-night-only gig.

Alabama: The shellfish gene

Nowhere does oysters quite like the Yellowhammer State. Rob Crossan finds indulgence and small-town charm in Alabama

McCain reaches out to black voters in pitch for America's 'forgotten'

In stark contrast to his Democrat rivals, John McCain spent yesterday far from Pennsylvania, where, unopposed, he will pick up all 74 delegates. He was in a depressed steel town in Ohio, telling voters that under his leadership, the economic good times would return.

US Bible Belt begins clear-up after the worst tornadoes in 20 years

Dazed survivors of the worst tornadoes to hit the American Bible Belt in more than two decades surveyed the wreckage of their flattened homes yesterday, as state and federal clean-up crews herded them into temporary shelters and started to tackle downed power lines, severed gas pipes, fallen trees and debris as far as the eye could see.

Album: The Blind Boys of Alabama, Down in New Orleans (Proper)

Despite having been in existence since the days when music revolved at 78rpm, The Blind Boys of Alabama have never before recorded in New Orleans – and sadly, listening to this latest album, it's no surprise.

Arthur Alexander, Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Label: HackTone

George Bush: 'We've been humbled by the powers of Mother Nature'

From a radio address by the President of the United States, broadcast from the Rose Garden of the White House, Washington DC
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions