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.

Ex-nurse 'entered into false suicide pact with Briton'

American befriended at least 50 other vulnerable people by posing as woman on internet chatrooms

Former nurse charged with aiding Briton's suicide

A former nurse accused of encouraging dozens of people to kill themselves was charged with aiding a British man's suicide.

Abuse case priest will not fight extradition

A Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a teenage parishioner in Minnesota has said he would willingly leave his native India and try to clear his name in the courts if the United States tried to extradite him.

Peter Graves: Actor best known as Jim Phelps in 'Mission: Impossible' and the bungling Captain in 'Airplane!'

The silver-haired actor Peter Graves had the right name for his role as the stony-faced boss of an élite American government espionage agency in the television series Mission: Impossible. As Jim Phelps, he was in charge of the Impossible Missions Force's team of skilled operatives who carried out daring, top-secret assignments.

The great 'Dubya' debate starts here

The message passing drivers take from the roadside billboard will depend largely on their political leanings.

Americans redraw the map to erase 'offensive' names

California says goodbye to Negrohead mountain, but Intercourse, Pennsylvania survives – for now

Owl City, Komedia, Brighton

A sugar shock of schmaltz

The Lindsey Vonn phenomenon

America's sweetheart has taken Vancouver by storm – the legion of fans in her 'Vonntourage' have even renamed the Games in her honour. As the skier resumes her medal charge, James Lawton tells the remarkable story of her journey to the top

Report: Jaycee kidnap suspect improperly supervised

A state report released yesterday blasts corrections officials for missing chances to catch the sex offender accused of holding Jaycee Dugard captive in his backyard for 18 years.

Pilots who flew 150 miles past airport were using laptops

Two pilots who allowed their passenger jet to overshoot its destination by 150 miles last week have told investigators that they lost concentration because they were using their laptop computers in the cockpit.

Keanu Reeves - An A-list slacker grows up

His next role sees him playing the toy-boy next door. But is Keanu Reeves really the guitar-strumming, eternal teenager of popular repute? Kaleem Aftab finds out

Mother flees with son to elude treatment order





Police across the United States were on the look-out today for a mother and son who had fled their home in southern Minnesota to elude court-ordered chemotherapy for the boy, who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons From the Wild, By Mark Rowlands

The United States once pursued a policy of eradicating its wolves; shooting, poisoning and trapping them until there were almost no free wild wolves in the country, says Mark Rowlands. However, with the policy now abolished, they are again roaming through parts of Wyoming, Montana and Minnesota. They are also prowling in abundance through the pages of literature, in the strikingly vivid Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow and Joseph Smith's hauntingly beautiful debut, The Wolf.

Symbionese terrorist comrade of Patty Hearst to be released

After 25 years on the run and seven years in jail Sara Jane Olson set to walk free

Minnesota Orchestra/Vanska, Barbican Hall, London

Osmo Vanska is clearly a very good thing for Minnesota. You can sense when an orchestra is raising its game, pushing its boundaries, and playing to the limit of its possibilities. That was the feeling here: a decent orchestra made to sound a whole lot better by the sheer dynamism and musicality of its music director. I'll wager Minnesota will be a very different orchestra by the end of Vanska's existing contract in two years' time.

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Migrants in Britain a decade on: The Poles who brought prosperity

Migrants in Britain a decade on

The Poles who brought prosperity
Philippe Legrain: 'The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - we need a European Spring'

Philippe Legrain: 'We need a European Spring'

The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - this radically altered landscape calls for a new kind of politics, argues the economist
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj
Judith Owen reveals how husband Harry Shearer - star of This Is Spinal Tap and The Simpsons - helped her music flourish

Judith Owen: 'How my husband helped my music flourish'

Her mother's suicide and father's cancer also informed the singer-songwriter's new album, says Pierre Perrone
The online lifeline: How a housing association's remarkable educational initiative gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression

Online lifeline: Housing association's educational initiative

South Yorkshire Housing Association's free training courses gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression
Face-recognition software: Is this the end of anonymity for all of us?

Face-recognition software: The end of anonymity?

The software is already used for military surveillance, by police to identify suspects - and on Facebook
Train Kick Selfie Guy is set to scoop up to $250,000 thanks to his viral video - so how can you cash in on your candid moments?

Viral videos: Cashing in on candid moments

Train Kick Selfie Guy Jared Frank could receive anything between $30,000 (£17,800) to $250,000 (£149,000) for his misfortune - and that's just his cut of advertising revenue from being viewed on YouTube
The world's fastest elevators - 20 metres per second - are coming soon to China

World's fastest elevators coming soon to China

Whatever next? Simon Usborne finds out from Britain's highest authority on the subject
Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture that causes men to miss out on seeing their children

Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture

The organisation is the brainchild of Louisa Symington-Mills, a chief operating officer who set up Citymothers in 2012 - a group that now boasts more than 3,000 members
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable