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He's rich and well-connected. But Michael Skakel's case deserves close examination

Television History: Land of the fairly free

Matthew Hoffman digs for the truth under the Dust Bowl

Leading Article: End the secrecy and open the files

IN RECENT days, the Public Records Office has been offering up some of its more newsworthy secrets. Officially, under the "30-year rule", all government records older than 30 years should be made public; in practice, records have often been kept far beyond that date. These have included Britain's Cold War preparations for a Soviet occupation of the Shetlands, the existence of a suspected Japanese spy ring in Britain during the Second World War, and Secret Service plans to kill Hitler. All have now been declassified under accelerated release programmes.

America bites the bullet

After a slew of school murders, the US gun lobby looked dead and buried. Then it played its joker: Charlton Heston.

World Cup: Foothold for the Goldfish

Gerard Wright in Phoenix finds the game is at last taking firm root in the US

SDX directors to get pounds 20m

Four directors of SDX, the telecommunications equipment group, will share more than pounds 20m after agreeing to a takeover bid by Lucent Technologies, the US giant that was recently spun off from AT&T.

They thought the L-word was dead and buried, but it's back

"Liberals are variously described as limousine, double domed, screaming, knee jerk, professional, bleeding heart; see also pinko; parlour pink; new left; committed; egghead." Safire's Political Dictionary, by William Safire.

Football: Gallacher spurns his Capitol chance

United States 0

Martin Luther King's death is still a warning

Persistence of racism

Campaigning adverts under fire

`Political' agenda sparks new wave of complaints to industry watchdog, writes Paul McCann

The deck is stacked against us, say casinos

CASINOS - dealt an unwelcome hand in the Budget - are fighting back and demanding reform of the 30-year-old gaming laws.

Joseph Kennedy to quit politics

IN America, the Kennedy name is politics. But it also has other connotations that are less about service to country and more about service to women. Now, the leader of the younger generation of the family, Representative Joe Kennedy, 45, is withdrawing from political life.

The shock of the view

Something as tasteless as the Jerry Springer show couldn't happen here - could it? Jennifer Rodger talks to the man himself

Just not our class, dear

A lawyer weds a plumber. So who cares? Probably both their families, reports Angela Neustatter. Background, it seems, still counts

1968: The year that shook the world by the world's greatest photographe rs

IN THE 1960s young people in the West felt boundlessly optimistic. And 1968 was the year when exhilaration reached its apogee. Student leaders found that they could call on tens of thousands of their peers to join demonstrations. They did not need "adult" backing. They could create their own political power. So when President Lyndon Johnson made the astonishing announcement in March that he was not going to run for a second term in the White House, he told a friend: "I felt that I was being chased on all sides by a giant stampede ... I was being forced over the edge by rioting blacks, demonstrating students, marching welfare mothers, squawking professors and hysterical reporters."

1968: America

REPORTERS, we know, thrive on bad news. But covering America in 1968 was like watching the collapse of civil society. For Americans, it was quite simply one of the most distressing years in the country's history. For Lyndon Johnson, who had started so spectacularly well, the first half of the year was the harshest period a president had ever had to face.
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Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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