Black Water Rising, By Attica Locke

A shortlisting for the Orange prize will have brought this, Attica Locke's debut, to a wider audience than its identity as a crime thriller might have expected. It is an above-average tale set in 1981, when racial tensions were at some height, and black lawyer Jay Porter is trying to practise, and make some money, in a poor part of Houston, Texas.

American: The Bill Hicks Story, Matt Harlock & Paul Thomas, 107 mins (15)

Bill Hicks was reckoned to be one of the most brilliant and abrasive stand-ups in America before he died from pancreatic cancer in 1994, aged 32.

Whitney Houston, LG Arena, Birmingham

Back in the spotlight, but this one-time superstar dishes up a horror show

Texan Holden gambles on a return to his roots

Bolton's new American signing hopes an FA Cup run can earn a trip to South Africa

Needle IVF method overused, pioneer warns

IVF clinics are using a radical male infertility treatment far too frequently despite the risk of long-term health problems to the babies conceived, according to one of the technique’s pioneers.

Jailed Texas mum 'lured teen on World of Warcraft'

A Houston mother remained jailed on Wednesday after authorities said she flew to Canada and lured a 16-year-old boy, whom she allegedly had an online sexual relationship with for more than a year, away from his home.

Researchers claim beer and coffee may slash prostate cancer risk

Drinking beer and coffee may cut the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, according to two studies.

John O'Quinn: Flamboyant trial lawyer who won numerous billion-dollar cases against American companies

In the high-octane city of Houston, indeed in the entire outsized state of Texas, there probably was no more outsized and high-octane character than John Maurice O'Quinn. He was a flamboyant trial lawyer who might have stepped out of a TV soap opera. He was colossally rich and endlessly controversial, a courtroom steam-roller who took on and extracted billion-dollar judgements from some of the country's mightiest companies. But if big business vilified him as symbol of everything wrong with the bloated US tort system, the plaintiffs he represented tended to see O'Quinn as Gary Cooper from High Noon (one of his favourite films, he loved to say) – a lonely sheriff who took on and overcame the dark forces of corporate malfeasance. A strapping 6ft 4in and ruggedly handsome, he was even said to look like the Marlboro Man.

BAE accused of improper conduct in US

Defence company attacked by Congressmen for lobbying politicians after loss of £1.8bn contract

Patrick Swayze: Actor best known for his roles in 'Dirty Dancing' and 'Ghost'

Most actors are fortunate to get one signature role, one part for which they are fêted or idolised. Patrick Swayze, who has died aged 57 from pancreatic cancer, found two. His career may have been short on the critical approbation that he craved, but his most memorable and successful performances, first in the nostalgic musical drama Dirty Dancing (1987), then in the Oscar-winning Ghost (1990), made him a superstar, and gave America one of its few leading men who were unafraid to play vulnerable. However, he remained ambivalent about his screen persona as a sex symbol.

British grandmother in appeal to escape death row

A British grandmother is to stage an 11th-hour appeal against her execution in Texas as her lawyers tell judges today that she has been the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

BP hails 'giant' oil find

BP was given a shares boost today after the group announced a "giant" oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dozens injured as turbulence slams jet

A flight from Brazil to Texas dropped without warning, throwing flight attendants against the roof.

Police raid home of Jackson's physician

Federal agents searched the home of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray yesterday as focus turned to the role a powerful sedative may have played in the singer's death.

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

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Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

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The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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