Wellwishers turn out as Giffords leaves hospital

An ambulance carried Gabrielle Giffords along a route lined with well-wishers holding flags yesterday, taking the congresswoman to a plane that will fly her to a Houston rehabilitation hospital and her next step in recovery.

Hope for Carty as court debates death penalty

The latest skirmish in America's ongoing debate over capital punishment will take place in a court in Houston this morning, where lawyers for an accused murderer called John Edward Green will argue that the system has become so unreliable as to be an affront to natural justice.

Why the Republicans' hammer got nailed

Tom DeLay was George Bush's voice in Congress. Now he is facing life in prison. David Usborne charts a spectacular fall

It gets better: How Joel Burns' speech electrified America

A US campaign to support bullied gay teenagers is endorsed by many VIPs. But nothing has had the resonance of this heartbreaking speech from Texan councillor Joel Burns, introduced by David Usborne

After five-year wait, DeLay finally gets his day in court

The former Republican congressional leader Tom DeLay, one of the most polarising politicians during the George W Bush administration, is getting his day in court, five years after being charged with illegally funnelling corporate money to help elect Republicans to the Texas legislature.

Mum's the word as Holden aims to cruise past United

For Moira Holden, watching her son play either involves a nine-hour flight from Houston, which she took to see Bolton Wanderers face Arsenal a fortnight ago, or getting up in the small hours and turning on the television. Stuart Holden has described his mother as one of his sternest critics – certainly they discuss every one of his performances – and today's against Manchester United will be of special interest.

American Football: Foster plays the lead role to stun Indianapolis

Austin Collie of the Indianapolis Colts is tackled during the Houston Texans' surprise 34-24 victory over the perennial AFC South champions yesterday. It was the Texans first win over their arch enemy in seven tries and came despite Peyton Manning's 433 yards passing.

BP 'ignored concerns about oil well'

BP ignored the concerns of its contractor over the cementing of the Deepwater Horizon well shortly before it ruptured, a US hearing was told.

BP fined £32.5m over oil refinery blast

Beleaguered oil giant BP agreed to pay a record £32.5 million fine for safety failings at its Texas City oil refinery after a 2005 explosion which killed 15 workers.

American football: Mike Singletary - 'Deep down every young man wants to be great'

American football legend Mike Singletary, a Hall Of Fame linebacker who now coaches the San Francisco 49ers, tells Chris McGrath in an exclusive interview that evangelism goes far beyond the pitch

Attorney General hints BP's partners may face criminal investigation

Transocean, the Swiss owner of the doomed Gulf of Mexico rig, faces the wrath of Americans as the cost of oil catastrophe reaches $3bn

BP oil spill hitting all gulf states

Tar balls found on a Texas beach were confirmed as the first evidence that gushing crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon well had reached all the Gulf states.

Jimmy Dean: Singer and actor best known for the Sixties hit 'Big Bad John'

One of the most distinctive and imitated hit songs of the 1960s was Jimmy Dean's country-music narration, "Big Bad John". Its protagonist in this well-written song was a bar-room brawler who gave his life to save others and the phrase "Big John, big bad John" has passed into the language.

Tony Hayward: Right in the thick of it

Corporate crises don't come much worse than that facing BP after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and it's put the energy giant's low-profile chief executive exactly where he doesn't want to be. Can he survive?

BP brings in Red Adair's successor to stop oil leak

After failing with a succession of mechanical solutions, company turns to man who learnt from the best
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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys 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)
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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South Africa
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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