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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project