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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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone