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Rick Perry, suddenly the front-runner in the Republican nomination stakes, last month described Washington as a "seedy place" he didn't care for.

Calvin Russell: Texan rocker who found belated success in continental Europe

Once heard, usually on one of the BBC radio programmes presented by Bob Harris, Calvin Russell's gravelly voice, his tales of love and loss and his protest songs, stayed with you. An ex-convict and one-time associate of Townes Van Zandt, a Texan singer-songwriter he had much in common with, Russell never rose above cult status in the US or the UK, but found success throughout continental Europe in the 1990s. Already 40 when he signed to the French independent label New Rose in 1989, he seemed determined to make up for lost time, releasing 15 albums in 20 years, and maintaining a busy touring schedule. Last seen in Europe in November 2009, he still wore one of his trademark cowboy hats cut around the brim that made him look like an undertaker straight out of a Lucky Luke cartoon, but he was the real outlaw deal.

Texas uses new drug for execution

The Supreme Court has blocked the first scheduled execution of an inmate in Texas using pentobarbital.

A no-longer lonely planet comes to Britain

Gowalla, a social networking site based on where you know as well as who you know, is set to become the latest social media site to open an office in the UK. It comes as the company sets its sights on doubling the size of its operations this year and reshaping itself as a "social Lonely Planet".

Mel Gibson: Can a falling star ever rise again?

Only a few months ago he was considered toxic in Hollywood. Now he is back on the silver screen

Travel By Numbers: Texas

Eunice G Sanborn

Eunice G Sanborn was a Texas woman who was cited as the world's oldest person. She died on 31 January at her home in Jacksonville, Texas at the age of 114. Sanborn was born in July 1896 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and moved to Texas in 1937. She outlived three husbands and a daughter, who died in 1996.

People power: BBC's 'Human Planet' provides a dramatic insight into humanity and the natural world

This week sees the start of 'Human Planet', a new BBC series focusing on our place in the natural world. As these extracts from the book by Dale Templar and Brian Leith that accompanies the programmes reveal, it's a dramatic – and colourful – story

Bee's knees? Not if they're tired

Just like tired and stressed humans, busy bees that get too little rest start to make mistakes, scientists have found.

Austin: A taste of the Texan takeaway

Hungry for something new? Austin has long been the most progressive city in the Lone Star State. Now even its street food has gone gourmet. John Lee tucks in

Why the Republicans' hammer got nailed

Tom DeLay was George Bush's voice in Congress. Now he is facing life in prison. David Usborne charts a spectacular fall

After five-year wait, DeLay finally gets his day in court

The former Republican congressional leader Tom DeLay, one of the most polarising politicians during the George W Bush administration, is getting his day in court, five years after being charged with illegally funnelling corporate money to help elect Republicans to the Texas legislature.

Military recruiters told to accept gay applicants

The military is accepting openly gay recruits for the first time in U.S. history, even as it tries in the courts to slow the movement to abolish its ban on gays serving openly.

Digital Digest: 18/10/2010

The Best Of The Web

Dinosaurs moved in when everyone else moved out

Even in the savage world of dinosaurs, the meek shall inherit the earth, a new discovery suggests.

Paul Heaton, Borderline, London

I suppose that somewhere in the chequered history of sports casual (did I miss, for example, a pair of Reebok Classics poking out from the papal robe?) a tracksuit top must have seemed more incongruous. But it's difficult to imagine. Paul Heaton has one on – resolutely zipped up to his chin despite the stickiness of a packed Borderline. Yet the voice that emerges from above it is about as far removed from commonplace as you're likely to get.

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