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

Travel USA: The Renaissance rides into rodeo town

Rough and rugged Fort Worth lies at the heart of Texan cowboy country. Now it's trying to shed its Wild West image and become a little more cultural.

One day, son, all this could be yours

Why America expects to see another George Bush in the White House

`Rainbow team' to steer Bush drive

GEORGE W BUSH, by far the most likely Republican candidate for the White House in next year's election, put himself forward yesterday as the man who could reunite America behind the Republican Party.

Letter: Lost in translation

Lost in translation

DNA 'links man' to Jasper murder

A FEW drops of blood were likely to become the centrepiece of a racially charged murder trial in Texas yesterday.

Malick: the prodigal returns

He made two great American movies, then disappeared - for 25 years. But now, Terrence Malick is back.

OFFscript but ONmessage


Essay: `It's a hard life wherever you go' for the last, great, folk heroine

Spurned by radio, America's traditional music is struggling just to survive. That it has made it this far is largely the work of Nanci Griffith. Jasper Rees on the life of that `Daft Woman'

Pop: Nanci Griffith

Over the past decade Nanci Griffith (below) has been one of the most warmly received American roots musicians to visit these shores. Her regular appearances started more than a decade ago, when she made her name with up-tempo country rockers like "Lone Star State of Mind" and "Ford Econoline". Since then, she's increasingly delved into the folk music of both her own country and these isles and her latest CD, Other Voices Too (A Trip to The Bountiful), explores those roots through 19 cover versions. Admittedly, it's not her best ever album, but on stage, with her long-time backing band - the Blue Moon Orchestra - the little Texan with the sweetest of voices is still an engaging and popular performer.

Obituary: Ruben Naranjo

RUBEN NARANJO was one of the last of the classic dance combo leaders of Texan conjunto music, a style which is played by groups called conjuntos, on button accordion, guitar, the big 12-string bass guitar known as a bajo sexto and drums, and which is similar to the nortena music played across the border in Mexico.

You just can't legislate for the will to win

ONE OF the received wisdoms about British business is that it lacks the entrepreneurial spirit of the United States. Or rather, that the UK has potential entrepreneurs aplenty but that they lack the encouragement needed to succeed.

National Power invests pounds 1bn in US stations

NATIONAL POWER yesterday embarked on the most ambitious stage yet in its overseas expansion by announcing plans to invest pounds 1bn in new gas-fired stations in the US over the next three years.

Irritations of Modern Life- 13: Small Stickers on Fruit

ALL THINGS are branded. We have to accept this as a fait accompli of capitalism. Normally I believe that only killjoys hate branding. Packing, labelling and the sundry other ephemera of mercantile society - it is all there to be enjoyed. But not little stickers on fruit, which are sent simply to try us. Why should these innocent-seeming interventions annoy me so much? Partly it is the nature of the product. Fruit should be pure, graceful, unsullied. As the first and final foodstuff to be tasted before the onset of original sin - one can say with some certainty that Eve's apple bore no sticker - fruit somehow remains primordial, sensual and carefree.

The Independent Recommends: Edinburgh 98 - Pop

OREGON'S QUIRKY complex pop-punksters, the Dandy Warhols, bring their show to Scotland to promote their excellent Come Down album. Though singles like "Everyday Should Be A Holiday" and the current "Boys Better" are catchy pop numbers, there's a lot of thought-provoking music on offer as well.

Letter from Hollywood: Writers get booted up and bitching

Take 10,000 frustrated Hollywood screenwriters. Let them discover the Internet at roughly the same time. Result: an explosion of storytellers itching to share their grievances.
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
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Day In a Page

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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home