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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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star