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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.

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

PETER YORK ON ADS NUMBER 256: ONDIGITAL

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.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there