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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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform