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The prison house is a tough school but it saved the young Maurice McIntyre and reconnected him with music. In the late 1960s McIntyre became one of the most passionate and articulate spokesmen of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and an exponent of fiery but spacious "spirit jazz".

The Willow Springs water park in Arkansas has closed after being linked to two cases of the deadly infection in three years

Girl fights for life after ingesting brain-eating parasite while swimming in water park

The deadly microscopic amoeba made its way up 12-year-old Kali Hardig's nose to her brain during a visit to the Willow Springs lake in Arkansas

Miller Barber: Golfer known as ‘Mr X’ who was famed for his unique swing

Miller Barber: Golfer known as ‘Mr X’ who was famed for his unique swing

Miller Barber, who died on 11 June at the age of 82, was a golfer with a unique swing who made the most combined starts on the PGA and Champions tours. Nicknamed “Mr X,” he played in 1,297 tournaments on the PGA Tour and the 50-and-over circuit. He won 11 times in 694 PGA Tour starts and added 24 victories in 603 events on the Champions Tour.

Chris Christie’s weight-loss surgery feeds talk he could run for the White House in 2016

When Chris Christie briefly considered a bid for the White House in 2011, many suggested the popular New Jersey Governor was too fat to be President. However, if he decides to run in 2016 his weight may be less of a burden; in an interview with the New York Post, Christie has revealed that he underwent secret gastric-band surgery earlier this year, and observers say it is already paying off.

Maya Angelou: Filling in the final blanks of her life story

Review: Mom & Me & Mom, By Maya Angelou

The latest typically clear-sighted instalment of Maya Angelou's memoirs includes beatings, guns and a celebration of the maternal bond

Troubled country singer Mindy McCready was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

Mindy McCready suicide confirmed

Preliminary results of a post-mortem examination confirm that US country music star Mindy McCready's death was suicide, authorities in Arkansas said today.

Bill Clinton is 'a towering figure who remains a major voice in world issues,' according to Martin Scorsese

Raging Bill? Martin Scorsese to direct Clinton documentary

Scorsese is set to make a film for HBO about the former US president. Here, John Walsh imagines Clinton on camera

Album: Iris DeMent, Sing the Delta (Flariella)

There are moments on DeMent's first album of new material in 16 years when you wonder if the wait was worth it.

Observations: A unlikely quest across the US West

I still get a kick out of the look on people's faces when I tell them about my book Follow The Money.

Slim in 2007; he never retired, and said he would bet on anything 'as long as the odds are in my favour'

Amarillo Slim: Poker player in the vanguard of the game's surge in popularity since the 1970s

From fewer than 10 entrants in its first few years, the World Series of Poker now boasts thousands

Red Holloway: Jazz saxophonist who also played with John Mayall

Red Holloway, a tenor saxophone player who had a tone as big as the side of a house, made his name in jazz, but more quietly – or musically, more loudly – worked for John Mayall and a variety of rhythm'n'blues stars. "I enjoyed playing with Mayall," Holloway said. "He's a very good self-taught entertainer and I admire that. It takes an awful lot of nerve and perseverance to become successful like he did... We had a good working relationship."

Mike Huckabee has been presenting a weekly show on Fox News

Huckabee has Limbaugh radio crown in his sights

Rush Limbaugh, for two decades the undisputed king of conservative talk radio in the US, is suddenly faced with a potent pretender to his crown.

His master's voice: Blankley, left, with Newt Gingrich in 1995

Tony Blankley: Colourful adviser to Newt Gingrich

Unless you're the White House spokesman, opining daily on matters of war and peace, a press secretary normally doesn't become a public figure in a button-downed place like Washington, drenched in political correctness. The exception was Tony Blankley. For seven momentous years in the 1990s he was spokesman for Newt Gingrich, as the Georgia Congressman led the "Republican Revolution" that in 1994 gave the party control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. The turbulent and swaggering Speaker-to-be and his somewhat rotund, heavy-smoking aide with a British accent, a gift for soundbites and an unashamed taste for the good things of life, were made for each other.

Album: Various Artists, True Soul Vols 1&2 (Stone's Throw)

This labour of vinyl devotion rescues for posterity the best productions of Lee Anthony's True Soul label from Little Rock, Arkansas, a DIY enterprise specialising in Seventies psychedelic funk.

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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
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