Ex-US president George H W Bush in intensive care

Former US president George H.W. Bush has been admitted to a hospital intensive care unit “following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever”, but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said.

Jonathan Frid: Star of 'Dark Shadows'

Jonathan Frid,who died yesterday of natural causes at the age of 87, was a Canadian actor best known for playing Barnabas Collins in the 1960s original vampire soap opera Dark Shadows.

Blowing the title... a brief history

This is the time of year when leads are lost, fans cry and dreams die. As Manchester City approach their moment of truth, we examine five sides who should have won the league but didn't. They were all flair teams who dominated home games but had little experience of winning titles. Sound like anyone?

Blizzard brings America to a shuddering halt

An enormous winter storm left millions of Americans shivering in its frozen footprint and crushed snow-laden buildings in the north-east of the country yesterday, where a combination of ice, snow and rain pushed much of the region to breaking point.

Lady Gaga appeals for gay military law reform

Pop star Lady Gaga visited the US state of Maine on the eve of a key Senate vote to urge its two US senators to help repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

Loretta Maine: I'm Not Drunk, I Just Need to Talk to You, Just the

The troubled US singer-songwriter Loretta Maine was the star character of British comedian Pippa Evans's 2008 award-nominated show, and thus the best bet for a solo showcasing. Choosing Maine was not only wise but another sign that, despite its previously much maligned status, musical comedy is very much in the ascendant. You could easily see Maine wailing her woes in an episode of Flight of the Conchords, the show that has done much to bring about this comedic sea change.

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Maine votes against gay marriage law

Cecelia Burnett and Ann Swanson had already set their wedding date. When they joined about 1,000 other gay marriage supporters for an election night party in a Holiday Inn ballroom, they hoped to celebrate the vote that would make it possible.

Album: Franz Nicolay, Major General (Decor)

As the keyboardist in the Hold Steady, Franz Nicolay serves as the Roy Bittan to Craig Finn's Springsteen, animating the singer's street parables with florid flourishes.