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Poignant letter is filled with words of encouragement for her 22-year-old self

John Walsh: Mississippi rising, or the end of time?

I spent last week with a river lapping at my feet. I was in America's sublime Deep South, researching a story about music; from Memphis, Tennessee to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I drove through a thousand miles of Mississippi, the poorest state in the Union, and everywhere we went, the river came too. It wasn't just a conversation topic; it was the only topic – the river and how much it might inundate the homes of its inhabitants with its greasy, muddy, cold, brown presence.

Residents flee ahead of Mississippi floods

Residents of Memphis have begun to abandoning low-lying homes as the dangerously surging Mississippi River threatens to crest in coming days just shy of a 48.7ft record set by a devastating flood in 1937.

Album: Toy Horses, Toy Horses (Albino Sparrow)

Toy Horses are the Welsh stepson/stepfather duo of Adam Franklin (21) and Tom Williams (40) whose music has, as they say, "gone viral" in the past year, with the result that they were invited to Nashville to record their debut album.

Ferlin Husky: Country singer who pioneered the 'Nashville Sound'

One of the most versatile vocalists in country music, Ferlin Husky was also one of its most popular all- round entertainers, as assured handling a comedy routine as he was performing classics like "Gone" and "Wings Of A Dove".

Outside Edge: Making waves in Tennessee

Department of Unfortunate Timing, Pt I: after decades of not bothering to give a name to their sporting teams' tiger mascot, Tennessee State University recently decided to put it to a student vote.

Leonard 'Bud' Lomell: US Ranger who led a successful attack on German clifftop machine guns during D-Day

Leonard "Bud" Lomell, at the time a 24-year-old sergeant, led a platoon of US army Rangers, climbing hand-over-over hand by rope, up the sheer, 100ft Pointe du Hoc cliffs in Normandy on 6 June 1944 in one of the most crucial actions of the Second World War. The objective of his platoon, and 200 other men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, was a cluster of five or six clifftop German 155mm artillery guns which threatened the entire allied D-Day landing force on the nearby Omaha and Utah beaches. Allied intelligence had suggested that the guns, with a range of up to 15 miles, could decimate the allied landing force and turn the D-Day landing into a disaster.

Album: The Secret Sisters, The Secret Sisters (Decca)

Laura and Lydia Rogers are twenty-something sisters from Alabama.

Charlie Louvin: One half of the celebrated country music duo the Louvin Brothers

Almost unchallenged, the Louvin Brothers were the greatest brother act in country music and several of their songs, "When I Stop Dreaming", "The Christian Life" and "Cash on the Barrelhead", have been recorded by contemporary acts. "Being brothers really helped our harmonies," Charlie Louvin told me on a UK tour in 1988, "but I doubt if you could think of one brother act that grew old together. It just don't work."

Album: Abigail Washburn, City of Refuge (Rounder)

Born in Illinois, educated in Minnesota, now living in Tennessee via time spent in Vermont and China, it should come as no surprise that Washburn sounds like no one else.

Leading article: What the weather is telling us

The massive floods in Australia have tended to overshadow similar disasters in Sri Lanka, where a million people have seen their homes engulfed, and in Brazil, where 350 people have been killed and thousands affected by torrential downpours which are the worst in 25 years. The discrepancy might tell us something about the biases of western news media. But the phenomenon reveals more than that.

Dick Griffey: Record producer and executive who spoke out against the exploitation of black musicians

With infectious, irresistible invitations to the dance-floor such as "And The Beat Goes On" by the Whispers, "A Night To Remember" by Shalamar and "Midas Touch" by Midnight Star, Sound of Los Angeles Records – commonly abbreviated to Solar – the West Coast label founded by Dick Griffey, provided the sunny, soulful soundtrack for much of the Eighties on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sarah Palin email hacker sentenced

A man who was convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin's emails during the 2008 presidential campaign has been sentenced to a year and a day, with the judge recommending the term be served in a halfway house, not prison. The judge rejected a recommendation from prosecutors who argued for 18 months in prison.

Touch-typists catch errors on 'autopilot'

Touch-typists catch errors without even noticing them using an unconscious "autopilot", research shows.

Duane Eddy, Royal Festival Hall, London

His 1959 debut might have been called Have 'Twangy' Guitar Will Travel, but the legendary Duane Eddy hadn't graced a British stage since a tour with the Everly Brothers in 1991. All dressed in black, including an immovable Stetson, and playing his beautiful Gretsch signature guitar, Eddy rolled back the years from the off with "Detour" and his debut hit, "Moovin'N'Groovin". Backed by Richard Hawley's excellent band and a very adept saxophone player, he re-created his run of instrumental hits that are so evocative of the late Fifties and early Sixties. Eddy and his co-writer and producer, the late Lee Hazlewood, had a way with a title – cue "Cannonball" and the even snappier "Yep!" and "Shazam!" – and moved the guitar on from Les Paul's clean sound to a meaner, leaner rock'n'roll style.

Experimental film award identifies emerging talent

Experimental films shortlisted for the Jarman Award will be screened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London next Tuesday.

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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?