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Leaked documents on $250m Mitt Romney fortune fuel Republican crisis

The Presidential campaign of Mitt Romney was rocked again yesterday as his private wealth came under fresh and unfriendly scrutiny in the media even as Democrats continued to exploit embarrassment created by comments from a conservative congressman in Missouri on rape and abortion.

Brad Pitt's mum says 'no' to gay weddings

Brad Pitt did not inherit his liberal politics from his mother. Jane Pitt has caused a stir by writing to her local newspaper urging voters to vote for Republican Mitt Romney in November's US presidential election due to Barack Obama's backing of gay marriage.

Paul Jenkins: Painter whose art brimmed with the energy of life

The American artist Paul Jenkins, whose unorthodox application of paint by an alchemy of pouring techniques brought him association with the great Abstract Expressionists, has died in New York City at the age of 88. Born in a lightning storm in Kansas City in 1923, he started as he meant to go on, enjoying a somewhat epic life which found friendship with luminaries such as Jean Dubuffet, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning et al, whose support of him was as noteworthy for its affection as for its endurance – a distinction not always granted to artists at the top of the pile.

Just another Chicago tale of graft and extortion

Maybe that devout Catholic, Richard M Daley, had a point, apropos of the corruption for which his home town and state are legendary. "Look at our Lord's disciples," Chicago's former mayor, who attended Mass daily, once declared. "One denied Him, one doubted Him and one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn't have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government?"

More headlines

US tornadoes kill four

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and authorised 1,000 National Guard troops to be called up to provide support after at least two tornadoes touched down.

Obama consoles the town torn down by twister

His feet barely back on American soil after his 6-day tour of Britain and other European nations, President Barack Obama visited Joplin, Missouri, yesterday to take on the role of consoler-in-chief one week after the town was ravaged by a single monster tornado that killed at least 142 people.

Storm leaves 116 dead in a single American town

Doctors and nurses at the main hospital in the US town of Joplin, Missouri, had just minutes to rush patients away from windows and outside walls before it was ravaged by a massive tornado that ripped a wide path through, leaving at least 116 people dead and countless more injured. Officials said the death toll was expected to rise.