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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable