Rupert Cornwell: Is the American railroad dream back on track?

National Train Day: After decades of neglect, now is the time for the US to bring its investment in trains up to speed

Album: Texas Tornados Esta Bueno!, Bismeaux/Proper (PPP)

The original Texas Tornados were the Tex-Mex outfit led by the late Doug Sahm.

UK airspace plane makes emergency landing

A passenger plane passing through UK airspace had to make an emergency landing today following reports of chemical fumes in the cabin.

Ben Bernanke: America's economy is showing signs of a return to strength

The ageing of America's population will have a major impact on the federal budget, most dramatically on the Social Security and Medicare programmes, particularly if the cost of healthcare continues to rise at its historical rate. Thus, we must begin now to prepare for this coming demographic transition.

RAF scrambles fighter jets after passenger flight terror alerts

Aircraft shadowed twice this month as threat of 9/11-style attack grows

A very modern military partnership

Only 10 years ago, the Army was expelling soldiers for homosexuality. Now gay weddings get the regimental blessing. Terri Judd reports

Texan accused of disabling 100 cars over internet

A man fired from a Texas auto dealership used an internet service to remotely disable ignitions and set off car horns of more than 100 vehicles sold at his old workplace, police said yesterday.

RAF fighters scrambled in jet passenger alert

Two RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft were scrambled today after reports of a disruptive passenger on board a Heathrow-bound transatlantic flight

Death penalty thrown out over sex scandal

U-turn by Texas appeals court after judge and prosecutor admit affair

White Stripes: US Air Force stole song for Super Bowl advert

The White Stripes say the Air Force Reserve used one of their songs without permission in an American football championship Super Bowl ad, and that they are insulted their song was used to encourage recruitment during a war they don't support.

Leading article: Dammit, Chloe!

Counter Terrorist Unit, Los Angeles

Jordan Uttal: US airman and founder member of the 2nd Air Division Association

In 1947 six former 2nd Air Division USAAF officers who had been stationed at Headquarters in Norfolk during the Second World War, and who lived in the Chicago area in the US, decided to meet at the apartment of one of them for a few drinks on a Friday evening to remember old times.

Texas polygamist gets 33 years for child sex abuse

The Texas attorney general's office says a 57-year-old member of a polygamist group has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for the sexual assault of a child.

Album: Various Artists, Kats Karavan: The History of John Peel on the Radio (Universal)

John Peel's first stint as DJ was in 1959, for a Dallas radio station's R&B show called Kats Karavan; thereafter, the work sheet for every Peel show bore that same legend in the space reserved for the programme title.

Obits in Brief: Dr Malcolm Perry

Dr. Malcolm Oliver Perry II, who died on 5 December aged 80, was a physician who attended to President John F. Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital after he was shot in Dallas in 1963.

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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?