Rev Andrew Greeley: Outspoken priest and author

The Reverend Andrew Greeley, who was an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, best-selling author and newspaper columnist who criticised the hierarchy of his own church over the child sex-abuse scandal, has died aged 85.

Ever taken drugs? Whatever you do, don't tell the kids

The 'drugs talk' is supposed to be a mainstay of contemporary parenting, but parents who tell children of their own experience with drugs - even if meant as a warning - risk encouraging more drug-taking in the young, according to a new study.

Colsaerts on course for Ryder Cup place

Nicolas Colsaerts cleared the first hurdle towards gaining the last automatic spot in Europe's Ryder Cup team by firing a three-under 69 in the Johnnie Walker Championship first round at Gleneagles yesterday.

Win the lottery? More chance of being struck by lightning

A Kansas man has revealed that hours after buying three tickets in last week's Mega Millions lottery frenzy that swept America, he was hit by lightning, proving the adage about how hopelessly small the chances are of winning.

Mitt Romney widens lead with victory in Illinois

Mitt Romney last night solidified his aura of inevitability in the race for the Republican nomination by easily away putting away the Illinois primary, showing strength in a heartland state and the home of President Barack Obama.

Rod Blagojevich drives off to 14 years in prison

Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois, began a 14-year jail term in Colorado yesterday. The one-time golden boy of Democratic Party politics in Illinois was found guilty of corruption. His immediate predecessor, George Ryan, was jailed for the same reason.

The strain shows through, but a stint in the White House may be the

Judging by their before and after photographs, US presidents appear to age before our eyes, adding wrinkles and grey hair with each year in office. But their time in the White House does not appear to shorten their lives, and most live longer than their peers, a new study has found.

Ruth Stone: Poet who chronicled love and loss

Ruth Stone, who has died aged 96, was an award-winning poet whose life spanned the 20th and 21st centuries. During her lifetime she was compared by her contemporaries to Sappho, Dante, Christine de Pizan, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Kate Chopin and Anna Akhmatova. She bequeaths a literary legacy to be reckoned with for the remainder of this century.

Jim Rathmann: Racing driver who won the 1960 Indianapolis 500

Jim Rathmann, who died on 23 November aged 83, was a racing driver whose win in the 1960 Indianapolis 500 made him a star. A regular on the IndyCar circuit from 1949-63, he had had to settle for second at Indianapolis in 1952, 1957 and 1959. Then, in 1960, he finally broke through in what was probably the greatest two-man battle in the history of one of motor racing's biggest events.

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Court rules Emanuel out of Chicago mayoral race

He has already raised more than $10 million. Last week he stood on a stage in the city's cultural centre as the big dog – Bill Clinton – spoke to a capacity crowd to offer his all-important endorsement. He has even endured the first of several planned televised debates with his opponents for the job that he wants and thinks he deserves.

Album: William Fitzsimmons, The Sparrow and the Crow (Naim Edge)

Illinois-based Fitzsimmons'previous album was abouthis parents' divorce. Thisone is about his own. It isa late-night-by-candlelightsort of record that, if thephases of grief can looselybe split into shock, denial,anger and acceptance,wallows wonderfully inthat final stage. Comparisonsto Iron & Wine areinevitable, but what thepair share by way of beardand banjo, they part fromby way of broken heart."We'll love again/ Just noteach other," Fitzsimmonswhispers, making it cruelto put out that once againhis loss is the listener'sgain.

Illinois House votes to impeach governor

The Illinois House of Representatives today impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of abuse of power including an attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama's former US Senate seat.