News Duccini, right, at the 75th anniversary celebrations of 'The Wizard of Oz'

Ruth Duccini was the last of the original female Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. Uncredited, Duccini, who was four feet tall, played one of 124 Munchkin townspeople in the 1939 classic. There is now only one surviving Munchkin, Jerry Maren.

Hormel snaps up Skippy from Unilever

Hormel Foods has agreed to acquire the United States peanut butter brand Skippy from Unilever, the consumer goods giant, for $700m (£430m) cash, in an attempt to capitalise on rising demand for the spread overseas.

Page 3 Profile: Jesse Jackson Jr, US politician

Has the apple fallen far from the tree?

Same-sex marriage and the legalisation of soft drugs were political hot potatoes

Votes on gay marriage and marijuana cement another kind of change

Liberal states support plans to recognise same-sex unions and recreational drug use

US Election Diary: Pill-popping to overcome election fatigue

The Tampa rally over yesterday, reporters travelling with Governor Romney were herded on to the candidate's plane. But if they were frazzled by more than a year on the trail, there was help from top Romney aide Stuart Stephens, who handed out packets of pills. "David Cameron asked me to give you this," he said, spotting the man from The Independent. The six little capsules were nothing more than vitamins, he assured me. Duly ingested.

Cold Specks, Union Chapel, London

When Al Spx sings away from the mic, her earthy vocal carries through the airy nave, proving this a fine match of venue and performer: a cavernous church, with its hard, cramped pews, and the stark spirituality of this Canadian singer/songwriter.

Court blocks Shawn Sullivan's US extradition

US government attempts to extradite from Britain a man accused of child sex crimes were blocked by the High Court today.

Extradition judges condemn US order

Senior judges are seeking assurances from the US government that a man facing extradition accused of child sex crimes will not be placed on a controversial sex offenders treatment programme.

Rick Santorum was far more convincing during his short speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference than his rival Mitt Romney

Rupert Cornwell: The Romney dog-food brand still isn't selling

Out of America: The Republican frontrunner can't seem to win over the party faithful

Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren - Hitchcock's caged bird

Tippi Hedren's career was destroyed by the British director's obsession. Yet there was an upside, she tells Geoffrey Macnab

As of today, Mr Santorum has won four states in this marathon against three for Mr Romney, thus completely upending the assumptions of where it was headed

Santorum hat-trick derails Romney hopes

A stunning mutiny by evangelical and conservative Republicans punctured the tyres of the supposed frontrunner Mitt Romney in last night’s trio of nomination contests and instead gave a sudden and barely expected jolt of adrenalin to the staunch social conservative in the race, Rick Santorum.

James in concert with the Roots Band at The House of Blues in Boston in 2008; she made most of her money from live performances

Etta James: Acclaimed soul singer who fought to overcome her personal demons

If Etta James's life had not been weighed down with personal problems, mostly bad management, ghastly lovers, obesity, incarceration and heroin addiction, she would have been acclaimed as a remarkable female soul singer alongside Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Tina Turner. Her fans know how good she is but the general public in the UK only know her for her Top 10 single, the gritty and sensuous "I Just Want To Make Love To You", recorded in 1960 but a hit through a TV ad in 1996.

Mega bites: Amanda Hocking sells on average 9,000 e-books a day

Who wants to be a Kindle millionaire?

This week an unknown US author, Amanda Hocking, joins an elite literary club alongside just 11 others – including Stieg Larsson, James Patterson and Nora Roberts – by racking up her millionth Kindle sale. Unknown is, of course, a relative term in this case (no one can shift that many books by remaining anonymous) but Hocking is unusual because she has sold all of her books via Amazon's electronic Kindle reader. Entirely self-published, her first physical book does not reach traditional bookshops until January.

Mega bites: Amanda Hocking sells on average 9,000 e-books a day

Want to be a Kindle millionaire? Write novels about trolls

A self-publishing fantasy writer has become an e-book phenomenon

Stand-in twin denied prize after miracle hockey shot

A boy who hit an ice hockey puck into a tiny hole from the rink's centre line 27 metres away has been denied $50,000 prize money, because his identical 11-year-old twin brother bought the ticket that allowed him to take the shot.

Leading article: Underwhelming in Iowa

What could be worse than the further reaches of the congressional Republican Party bringing the United States to within hours of default? Answer (for now): the prospect of the arch-conservative Republican representative from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, winning her party's nomination to run for president. Worse even than Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and running mate in 2008 of the defeated John McCain? Quite probably – because she comes across as a more competent politician. She cannot be dismissed so easily as a Tea Party movement "flake".

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own