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.
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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
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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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