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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.

Pick of the Day: Cable

WRITER/DIRECTOR John Sayles (Matewan, Eight Men Out) was deservedly nominated for an Oscar for the script of Lone Star (8pm Sky Movies Screen 2), about a sheriff, Charley (Chris Cooper) in remotest Texas investigating the disappearance of a thuggish predecessor (Kris Kristofferson, right) 40 years previously. Was Charley's own father (Matthew McConaughey) involved in some way? Typically rewarding, thought-provoking fare from Sayles. A quick repeat for Hotel (9pm UK Gold), the BBC's impossibly popular fly- on-the-hotel-room-wall view of the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool. It made instant stars of Eileen, the intimidating manager, and Brian, the head waiter - whose command "just cook, will you?" was sampled for a pop record.

Texas braces for Klan invasion

THE SMALL Texas town of Jasper has already been through a desperately painful month. When it wakes today the pain will still be there; and so will the Ku Klux Klan, the New Black Panthers and half the world's media.

Obituary: Linda Schele

AMONG all the achievements of Pre-Columbian America, the hieroglyphic writing of the Maya holds a special place. It has long provoked fascination and bewilderment in equal measure and its unravelling - though still incomplete - ranks among the great scholarly adventures of the century.

Music: Now that's what I call garage music!

Tomorrow, the Flaming Lips treat London to a little sound party. Their instrumentation? Forty ghetto-blasters.

Grunge not grunge

Last autumn, Boston four-piece Come were over in Spain shooting Radiation, a punk-rock road movie that's half in Spanish and half in English. They got to play a disgruntled American rock band called, er, Come. The first scene in the film has them flying into Madrid and their contact turns up six hours late. On the flight over, the band read the script and thought "Wouldn't it be funny if that happened". But it did. Six months later in Austin, Texas it's almost deja vu for Come. We were given different times for the interview, so they've been sitting outside a venue on the edge of downtown Austin since 10am when I arrive over two hours later. Then they are hauled into soundcheck for their South By Southwest Festival showcase. Predictably enough, the soundcheck has its hitches, and when we all get to sit down in the carpark of the Electric Lounge, it's way beyond lunchtime.

Boxing: Tyson gets to grips with $4m in the ring of make-believe

Glyn Leach reports from Boston on a boxing legend's entry into the wacky world of wrestling

PacifiCorp looks for partner if it needs to raise offer in bidding for Energy Group

PacifiCorp, one of the two US bidders for Energy Group, is understood to be looking for a partner in case it needs to raise its offer from the present level of pounds 4.35bn. The Oregon-based electricity company, which is fighting Texas Utilities for control of Energy, the parent company of Eastern Electricity, is thought to have made approaches to several other American utilities about launching a joint bid.

Veteran in Waco stand-off

A VETERAN with explosives and a rifle crashed his car through a gate at a Veterans' Administration office and began a stand-off, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents. The man, whose name was not released, broke into the Veterans Affairs Regional Centre armed with explosives, and making demands. He was not holding hostages.

Outlook: Energy Group stalemate possible

On why cruickshank is right to refer, how to resolve the Engergy Group stalemate, and the Bank's problem with interest rates

MPs attack 'dirty' tactics in Energy bid

MPs are set to attack "nasty and dirty" tactics used in the takeover battle for an English electricity firm in a Commons debate today.

Energy battle hots up

Energy battle hots up

Green light for Texas in Energy battle

A pounds 4bn bid battle for Energy Group, owner of Eastern Electricity, moved a step closer last night after US regulators cleared Texas Utilities, the Dallas-based power group, to launch a takeover offer. Texas said it had been given approval to bid for Energy Group following a meeting with the Texas Public Utility Commission, the state utility watchdog, on condition that it supplied the regulator with additional confidential documents. The group needed permission to invest 30 per cent or more of its capital overseas.

Texas Utilities claims Energy bid would be in the clear

Texas Utilities, the Dallas power supplier considering a bid for Energy Group, yesterday pledged that any takeover offer should not meet with opposition from regulators.

'God bless the victim,' says governor as Texas executes Karla Faye Tucker

IN HER mind, Karla Faye Tucker must have already have died a hundred times. But shortly after midnight, her legal remedies exhausted and the pleadings of the international community set aside, she walked into the death chamber of Huntsville Penitentiary. At 37 minutes before one o'clock, tied down on to a trolley by six leather straps, she surrendered her body to the cold and silent flow of poisons from a needle leading into each arm.

America asks: should this woman die?

In a case that is dividing America, a woman is due to be executed tomorrow for a murder she committed almost 15 years ago. The campaign for a reprieve has brought together feminists, liberals and the Christian right. And the final decision on her fate may rest with George Bush, governor of Texas and son of the former president.
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tv'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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