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.

American Football: Smith puts Falcons in free-fall

THE BEST of the National Football League continued to fall on Monday when the Dallas Cowboys sent the Atlanta Falcons, last season's Super Bowl finalists, tumbling to a 24-7 defeat in Texas.

Travel: Won't you take me to Funkytown?

Matthew Brace visits Minneapolis, the city that is tipped to become America's next music capital

Drug-resistant 'superbug' kills 4

A SUPERBUG resistant to antibiotics - which up to now has been confined to hospitals - has escaped into the population, resulting in the deaths of four children, an official report reveals.

Obituary: Barbara Raskin

DOUBT MUST be cast upon the notion of a global village when it turns out that copies of Barbara Raskin's 1987 best-selling novel Hot Flashes have gone to ground. Out of print here and in the United States, and apparently ditched by much of the public-library system, Hot Flashes none-the-less remains well worth the hunt.

Perot in fight for control of Reform Party

THE REFORM Party of the United States, founded by Ross Perot, the Texan billionaire, faces what is billed by outsiders as a `defining moment' at its annual convention this weekend, when it sets out to plan its strategy for the next presidential election.

Words: pork-barrel, adj. and n.

THE BELGIANS must lament that, despite the Common Market's federal aspirations, it lacks a pork-barrel system. Not in the OED, this is a fund which legislators draw upon to finance local matters, such as highways or even problems in the food-chain. Its origins are obscure, perhaps derived from feeding slaves with barrels of salt-pork and hence has connotations of dodgy practice, of buttering up voters.

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Ice skating: ISU to review pairs judging

CONTROVERSY HAS always been a part of the sport of figure skating and this year's World Championships in Helsinki have sparked one.

Serendipity: Hitting on the right note

SOME PEOPLE view serendipity as a form of divine intervention, a notion that is supported by the story of Art Fry, who worked for 3M in St Paul, Minnesota. Fry sang in the choir of his local Presbyterian church, where he was in the habit of slipping scraps of paper into his choir book so that he could find the next hymn more quickly. One Sunday in 1974, a paper marker fell from his book, and he found himself in the embarrassing position of not being ready to sing.

King's cancer treated

KING HUSSEIN of Jordan completed a bone marrow transplant in the United States yesterday to treat a relapse of cancer, but will be monitored closely for two weeks, said Jordan's envoy to the US, Marwan Muashe, last night.

American Football: Atlanta stun Vikings to reach Super Bowl

THE ATLANTA Falcons last night produced a stunning performance in the final of the National Football Conference to defeat the pre-match favourites, the Minnesota Vikings, 30-27, with a field goal deep into overtime. The result means that the Falcons will advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in their history.

American football: Rampant Vikings

THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS became the highest-scoring team in NFL history on Saturday. They needed 12 points to break the single-season scoring record held by the 1983 Washington Redskins and their 26-12 defeat of the Tennessee Oilers in Nashville took them to 556 points.

Shout lines

Shout lines

Shockwaves as `The Body' becomes Minnesota governor

FORGET ABOUT Democrats and Republicans. Forget about the new seat numbers in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Forget even about President Bill Clinton and his prospects for surviving impeachment. The real story of the 1998 elections is Jesse "The Body" Ventura and his astonishing victory in Minnesota.

Obituary: E. G. Marshall

ONE OF America's finest character actors, E. G. Marshall will be remembered by television viewers of the Sixties for his Emmy Award- winning role as half of a father-son team of lawyers in the superior crime series The Defenders.
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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)