Devastating Ike batters Texas

Massive Hurricane Ike ravaged southeast Texas today, battering the coast with driving rain and ferocious wind gusts as residents who decided too late they should have heeded orders to evacuate made futile calls for rescue.

Thousands flee as Hurricane Ike's 'wall of water' threatens Texas

Hurricane Ike is close to striking the densely populated Texas coast near Houston in what may be the worst storm to hit the state in nearly 50 years.

Album: Indian Jewelry, Free Gold (We Are Free)

For a bunch of wayward hippies there is something completely savage, hypnotic and nocturnal about the psychedelic rumbles of this Houston, Texas-based ensemble.

Texas: Home of the final frontier

Houston, Texas, is home to the Johnson Space Center, where Mission Control takes charge of the Space Shuttle. Alex Hannaford boldly goes for a tour

Bush: 'Wall Street got drunk and now it's got a hangover'

Secretly recorded, President Bush points the finger of blame for the credit crunch

Nasa seeking 30 litres of urine a day for space tests

The company charged with building a space capsule that will take America's astronauts back to the moon has made an urgent appeal - for urine.

Michael DeBakey: Cardiovascular surgeon whose innovations revolutionised the treatment of heart patients

Michael DeBakey was the world's most innovative heart surgeon. A high-flier from his student days, he was one of the first surgeons to operate on the heart, performing 60,000 operations over 70 years with exceptional skill and judgement. He operated on world leaders including presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, Boris Yeltsin, The Duke of Windsor, King Hussein of Jordan, the Shah of Iran and stars such as Marlene Dietrich.

America gripped by story of love triangle amid bombs of Baghdad

The main news tonight: a television reporter is making front-page headlines across America, after being entangled in a scandalous love triangle during a posting to Baghdad.

South Dakota: All the presidents' heads

Seeking spectacular sculpture? South Dakota beckons

Creator of Jerry Springer opera turns gaze on saga of Anna Nicole Smith

The co-creator of the controversial hit musical Jerry Springer: The Opera has got another icon of modern American pop culture in his sights, the late glamour model Anna Nicole Smith.

Album: R.E.M. Accelerate (Warner Brothers)

When I caught R.E.M. rehearsing material from this album at last year's Dublin shows, the new songs sounded fresh and intriguing. I don't know what's happened in the interim, but Accelerate isn't anything like as exciting as anticipated. Its muscular riffing recalls the mainstream-rock moves of Lifes Rich Pageant and Document but, crucially, without the winning melodies and the sense of ambitious necessity.

Off Duty: Houston

It used to be said that "a few days in Houston isn't a getaway, it's a sentence". Not any more...

R.E.M., Royal Albert Hall, London

Stipe masters fine art of the comeback

America hit by the unlikeliest of crazes: knitting

Maybe there are just not enough babies being born in America. Whatever the reason, knitting nuts across the land have taken their skills outdoors, creating crocheted coverings for everything from whole trees to door knobs and park benches. It is almost as if Cristo suddenly went stitch-crazy.

The Alamo

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...