News George Stinney, the youngest person ever executed in South Carolina, in 1944

George Stinney was 14 when executed for a crime his family says he didn’t commit. A retrial may clear his name

Missing 40-stone teen is found

A 40-stone US teenager who disappeared with his mother after she was accused of neglecting his health has been found with her at a laundry in Maryland.

Craigslist faces prostitution controversy in NY

Seven people accused of publicizing a New York City prostitution ring over Craigslist have been indicted, adding to pressure on the online classified site to vet its ads.

Wildfire starts to spread in US

A coastal wildfire spread early today toward one of the busiest tourist stretches in South Carolina after destroying more than three dozen homes.

Markets soar after Fed boss sees 'green shoots' of recovery

Public figures in the US don't have their tongues cut out for saying they've seen "green shoots" of economic recovery. After Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, uttered the phrase on television on Sunday night, stock markets soared.

US freezes as Arctic air blasts in from Canada

America is not unfamiliar with low temperatures, but the present cold snap is exceptional by any standards

Eartha Kitt: Singer and actress with a difficult reputation who was described as 'the most exciting woman on earth'

When New Faces of 1952, a revue celebrating fresh talent, opened on Broadway, the New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson stated, "Eartha Kitt not only looks incendiary but she can make a song burst into flame."

Eartha Kitt dies of cancer, aged 81

Eartha Kitt, the actress, diva and timeless sex symbol whose career spanned six decades and whose extraordinarily sultry voice propelled her from the cotton fields of South Carolina to the heights of global stardom has died, at the age of 81.

Statelines: the full collection of articles in our America travel series

Through 2008, The Independent Traveller has broken new ground by celebrating the US in every edition, starting on 5 January with Washington DC. Every Saturday since then we have featured one of the 50 states. Today, you can travel the US in three pages, as we distil the best of America

A beautiful life: Paul Bettany a successful acting export

He used to be a busker, but now Paul Bettany is one of our most successful acting exports. Just don't mention the bald patch, he tells James Mottram

My vision for America: Speeches by Barack Obama

Throughout his political life, Barack Obama's brilliant oratory has captivated and inspired millions. We publish the key speeches in which he sets out his vision for America – and the world

My secret life: Margot Stilley, actress, 25

The home I grew up in... was built in the Twenties by my great-grandfather. It had an amazing hanging garden made up of Spanish moss. My family was really into plywood, timber and bricks, and inside all the features had intricate detail. I still miss the smell of the place.

Dominic Lawson: A simple lesson in humanity

Every person with disabilities is defined – like all of us – by unique personalities and aspirations

McCains show off adopted daughter Bridget

The unlikely family tableau at the Republican National Convention surely jolted millions of viewers at home: there was Cindy McCain, strings of pearls about her neck as usual, clasping hands with her adopted 17-year-old daughter Bridget. Mother and daughter were on the edge of crying.

Tropical storm hits Florida coast



Tropical Storm Fay continued its erratic path today, moving north along the Florida coast but not going out over the Atlantic Ocean, where many had feared it could strengthen and curve back toward the state as a hurricane.

Charleston: not as gay as its ads

It started as a light-hearted attempt to promote America as a gay-friendly tourist destination during the Pride London parade. Throughout its history, South Carolina has been famous for many things: slaves, prohibition and the Ku Klux Klan among others. Now, much to the fury of its senators, posters on the London Underground are proclaiming: "South Carolina is so gay".

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital