News Coachella Valley High School, where the football team is known as

A high school in California has been criticised for using what some say are damaging stereotypes of Arabs.

How Spam saved the free world's bacon: The Post-it is in, but the pacamac is past it. John Windsor dips into a new book which celebrates the century's great inventions, some now consigned to the dustbin of history

A moment's silence, please, for the light-brown Smartie. Conceived in 1937 - along with red, yellow, orange, green, mauve, pink and dark-brown ones - it was last seen in 1989, when the German-made blue Smartie replaced it. France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands had already submitted to the bright- blue invader when Nestle Rowntree adopted it 'temporarily' in the UK in celebration of the brand's 50th anniversary. It outshone the brown, ousting it within two years.

Show People: Mr Humphries, reborn in the USA: John Inman

EVERYONE is standing in line: from blue- rinsed old ladies to six-year-old children. The queue goes twice round the building. There's such a swarm, in fact, that John Inman has to go in the back door. Inside, his hand swells from signing autographs and his voice starts to go. This is springtime in Tennessee, and Memphis has turned out to meet Britain's most popular export since Benny Hill: Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served?.

My Biggest Mistake: Geoff Morrow

MY BIGGEST mistake was flying home to see my children instead of flying to Memphis to see Elvis.

Lives of the great songs / Cheatin' meeting of minds: The Dark End of the Street

'THIS IS probably one of the greatest songs that's ever come out of black American music,' announces Ricky Ross over the piano intro to Deacon Blue's live version of 'The Dark End of the Street' (1991). 'I first heard it done by Gram Parsons, and then by a guy called Ry Cooder . . .'

Why the devoted still play the singles scene: Forget CDs, and even LPs . . . the only sounds worth searching out are on 45rpm. Magnus Mills takes his Sixties cred for a spin at a record fair

It was the Ten Years After single that made the difference. These dealers always seem to be impressed by a bit of insider knowledge.

Jury refuses new hearing on King murder

MEMPHIS (Reuter) - A grand jury refused to grant a hearing on Tuesday to a lawyer who says he has evidence that James Earl Ray was not involved in the 1968 murder of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Ray is serving a 99-year sentence for the killing.

'New evidence' in Luther King assassination

MEMPHIS (Reuter) - A lawyer yesterday said he was seeking permission to present new evidence on the assassination of Martin Luther King to a Tennessee grand jury. Wayne Chastain declined to disclose material that could be discussed at a hearing. But he said the case will bring to light new figures involved in the 1968 killing.

On Excellence: Teaching employees to talk up profits

SOME call Asea Brown Boveri, the European heavy industrial firm, the most decentralised large company in the world. Its dollars 30bn in revenue springs from 1,200 companies, averaging 200 people each. Consider its power transformer business: at dollars 1bn it is four times the size of its next biggest rival, but these proceeds come from 25 factories in 16 countries - and on average these are smaller than their largest local competitor.

A river always floods through it: The combined force of dollars and engineering cannot subdue the Mississippi, says Sandy Balfour

THE ferocity of the now receding Mississippi/Missouri floods caught everyone by surprise. But one has only to look at the seemingly endless record of 'flood years' to understand that in the Mississippi Valley - a rich, wide, fertile and flat alluvial floodplain - there is no such thing as a surprise flood.

Crossing the divide: This is the man who christened rhythm and blues, who rescued Aretha Franklin and made her a star, who went to the South and came back with soul. In the history of popular music, Jerry Wexler's been behind some of the greatest records ever made

GET JERRY WEXLER started on the big bands of the Thirties and Forties and you'll never hear the back of it. Most ageing music moguls have long since sloughed off any real love for music they started out with and sunk into a torpor of cocktails and daytime television. Not Wexler. Wrapped in his enormous hooded bathrobe, with the sea lapping against the jetty at the end of the garden, Wexler seeks solace from his favourite saxophonists - Johnny Hodges, Lester Young, Ben Webster - long into the Florida night. Fifty years after first hearing them on 52nd Street he's still hero-worshipping them, still can't listen to Henry 'Red' Allen on 'Meet Me In The Moonlight' without wanting to cry.

The Bluffer's Briefing: Multiple Births

Biggest human: Decaplets - 2 males and 8 females - were reported in Bacacay, Brazil in April 1946. The only certain nonuplets were born to Geraldine Broderick in Sydney, Australia on 13 June 1971.

Boxing: Ashley insists he will have Nunn on run: A two-fisted British fighter is expecting to return from Memphis with the world title

IT IS to Crawford Ashley's advantage that he possesses an abundance of self-confidence, because hardly anyone outside his immediate entourage shares his belief that a major upset will occur when he challenges the gifted American Michael Nunn for the World Boxing Association super- middleweight title in Memphis on Friday night.

Masons' sign of the times

(First Edition)

BOOK REVIEW / Lost world of Southern comforts: The Oracle at Stoneleigh Court - Peter Taylor: Chatto, pounds 14.99

PETER TAYLOR is from Tennessee, and has been paying attention to it, one way and another, for almost 80 years. He is a master of the Memphis scene of the Thirties, and of the modern short story; his work is little known in Britain - where he is apt to be spoken of as a friend of the poet Robert Lowell - and is less than prominent, despite honours and awards, in America itself. His stories hark back to the Civil War South, and proceed towards the deluge of the Second World War, which enlists the sensitive young man who tends to narrate them, a young man fond of words and play and girls, and prone to acknowledgements of a genteel weakness. Many of Taylor's Southerners think of themselves as 'the special urban remnants of an old gentry out of another time'.

Boxing: Lewis at mercy of King's bidding

THERE is no guarantee that Lennox Lewis will have home advantage when predictably called upon to face Tony Tucker in a mandatory first defence of the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship.
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