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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".

A record year for tornadoes in the US

Tornadoes can occur in many parts of the world, but are most frequently found the United States east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported in the US, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.

Waters still rising on the Mississippi

A US Army engineer inspects sandbags on the banks of the Mississippi river in Natchez yesterday, where cargo was slowly moving along the flooded river after a costly daylong standstill.

Picture of the Day: Once this was all fields... The Mississippi floodgates open

Over the next few days, water spewing through a Mississippi River floodgate will crawl through the swamps of Louisiana's Cajun country, chasing people to higher ground while leaving much of the land under 10 to 20 feet of water.

Cajun country to be Mississippi flood scarifice

Army engineers will open a key spillway along the bulging Mississippi River as early as today, deluging thousands of homes and farms in Louisiana's Cajun country in order to avert a potentially bigger disaster in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Video: Mississippi flood devastation

The bulging Mississippi River has rolled into the fertile Mississippi Delta, threatening to destroy cotton, rice and corn fields.

Video: US Army blow up levee

Engineers have blown up a Mississippi River levee in Missouri as rising waters continue to threaten towns in several US states.

Armadillos linked to Louisiana leprosy

With some genetic sleuthing, scientists have identified a likely culprit in the spread of leprosy in the southern United States: the armadillo.

US storms leave at least five dead

Rescue crews resumed work yesterday after violent storms carved out damage three miles wide in Arkansas, leaving at least two residents of a small town dead. Three other people were killed when floodwaters swept vehicles off the road.

Storms leave 7 dead in Arkansas

The US National Weather Service says first light has revealed the track of a deadly tornado that flattened trees and power lines, tore the roofs from homes and left a debris-strewn path through a small central Arkansas town.

Huckabee yet to decide on candidacy

Republican Mike Huckabee is riding high in the polls, but he could be running out of time to make up his mind on a run for his party's 2012 US presidential nomination.

String of tornadoes kills more than 45 across US

Rescue crews searched for survivors yesterday after a storm spawned dozens of tornadoes across the southern US, killing 45 people in six states from Oklahoma to North Carolina, the hardest hit, with 62 twisters and at least 21 dead.

Three killed US tornado strike

Vicious storms hit the Deep South of the United States and toppled trees like dominoes as tornadoes howled through towns. Four deaths were reported yesterday in Alabama, including a man killed when the storm tossed a mobile home nearly a quarter of a mile across a state highway.

Apple announce forecast-busting quarterly results

Apple shares remained on an even keel, despite news that Steve Jobs was taking medical leave, thanks to the announcement of blockbuster sales of its iPads and iPhones.

Civil War message found in a bottle

A glass vial stopped with a cork during the Civil War has been opened, revealing a coded message to the desperate Confederate commander in Vicksburg on the day the Mississippi city fell to Union forces 147 years ago.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Rarity has a value all of its own

Why is rarity so prized? What deep psychological roots in us does it tap? It clearly has nothing to do with the inherent properties of a given object, as a tatty and overprinted postage stamp will have immense allure for stamp collectors, if very rare, whereas a clean and exceptionally beautiful stamp which has just been issued in its millions will carry no cachet.

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