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

Interview: Caitlin Rose - 2010's honky tonk heroine

The first time you hear Caitlin Rose, the Nashville-born singer-songwriter whose country-tinged arrangements are threatening to make a big impression in 2010, you'll thank your lucky stars that she chose to pursue a career in music rather than go to college.

Why it's getting easier to carry a gun in the US

In the past two years, firearm restrictions have been relaxed in 24 states

Worldwide record-breaking mania strikes

More than 200,000 people around the world came together today to break some wacky and wonderful records on the fifth annual Guinness World Records Day, which commemorates the day in 2004 when Guinness World Records became the world's bestselling copyright book.

Album: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Speed of Life (Sugar Hill)

The Nitties were one of those happy aggregations that spent the late 1960s alloying the American folk tradition with new-fangled West Coast rock, to no discernable impact on the drift of Western culture – even when Jackson Browne was briefly a member.

Album: John Hammond, Rough and Tough, (Chesky)

An umptysquillionth album by the son of the man who discovered Bob Dylan, a veteran bluesman with all the payable dues duly signed and docketed except for the unfixable fact of his whiteness.

Apple boss Jobs admits to liver transplant

But the talismanic CEO kept fans guessing over the revolutionary touch-screen 'Tablet'

Album: Dave Cloud & The Gospel Of Power, Fever (Fire Records)

Nashville's resident "garage-rock lounge lizard extraordinaire", Dave Cloud looks like Jim Royle readying himself for a "tom tit" trip to the loo, and sounds like something nasty lurking in the undergrowth waiting to scare small children.

How we saw off Brüno

Murray Echols was a 75-year-old Alabama pensioner innocently indulging his passion for ballroom dancing. Then along came Sacha Baron Cohen and his film crew ...

American Football: McNair was murdered say police

Former American football player Steve McNair's shooting death was a homicide, police said yesterday, but authorities stopped short of saying it was a murder-suicide committed by the 20-year-old girlfriend found dead by his side.

Album: Levon Helm, Electric Dirt, (Vanguard)

Dirt Farmer revisited. Perhaps Son of Dirt Farmer would be more idiomatic. Or just Son of the Dirt. Either way it continues the former Band singer/drummer's impressive return as the grand old man of soulful Southern-ness.

Album: Levon Helm, Electric Dirt (Vanguard)

On his 2007 comeback album, Dirt Farmer, Levon Helm's distinctive weather-beaten vocal tones animated the plight of the rural underclass as vividly as any documentary.

Hannah Montana: The Movie (U)

Surprisingly entertaining, feature-length treatment of the smash-hit TV series, in which Miley Cyrus plays ordinary high-school student Miley Stewart, transformed by night into rock super-star Hannah.

Two dead, dozens injured in Tennessee tornadoes

Two people were killed and dozens more injured yesterday in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when a series of tornadoes ripped through the state, causing extensive property damage in several communities.

Stroke victim's 'deathbed' confession to 32-year-old murder proves premature

Lying in his bed for what he was convinced were his final moments, James Brewer, a stroke victim, felt compelled to confess to a crime that had weighed on his conscience for more than three decades.

Album: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Beware (Domino)

What the hell to make of Will Oldham's umpteenth record in his guise as Bonnie "Prince" Billy?

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project