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

Ernie Ashworth: Country singer and member of the 'Grand Ole Opry'

A long-time member of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry country music radio show, the singer Ernie Ashworth was best known for his 1963 chart-topper, "Talk Back Trembling Lips". Written by the veteran songwriter John D. Loudermilk, it spent over 30 weeks in the charts and remains one of the most enduring country hits of its era.

Pastor shot down during sermon

A pastor shot and killed during his Sunday sermon deflected the first of the gunman's four rounds with a Bible, sending a confetti-like spray of paper into the air in a horrifying scene that congregants initially thought was a skit, police said.

Butch Baldassari: Mandolin player whose work encompassed several musical genres

Avirtuoso mandolin player, Butch Baldassari effortlessly straddled musical genres.

Andrew Johnson

17th president - 1865-1869

James K Polk

11th president - 1845-1849

Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

As we are just two weeks into the new year it is a little early to describe tomorrow's Manchester United-Chelsea match as a 'six-pointer', especially as United have two games in hand. But neither side will be able to shrug off a loss in the context of a stuttering first half of the season.

Reese Witherspoon: Petite but very powerful

Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon has survived a difficult divorce but now the diminutive star is back – and the best-paid woman in Hollywood. She opens up to Lesley O'Toole

Sarah Palin's student hacker has trial delayed

The complexity of a computer crime trumped the need for a speedy trial in the case of the son of a Democratic Tennessee state lawmaker charged with breaking into the email account of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Lambchop, Union Chapel, London

Lambchop once played so quietly at London's Somerset House that you could hear the birds in the trees above them.

Obama 'plot' skinheads lacked formal plan

Two neo-Nazi skinheads accused of plotting to kill Barack Obama and dozens of black children did not appear to have had any formal assassination plan, the US Secret Service said today.

Police foil plot by white supremacists to kill Obama

A plot by far-right extremists to assassinate Barack Obama and kill and decapitate dozens of other black Americans at a school has been broken up, US officials claimed yesterday.

Charlie Walker: Honky-tonk singer of 'Pick Me Up On Your Way Down'

Charlie Walker was a honky-tonk musician and disc jockey best known for his classic recording of "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down". Written by the great Harlan Howard, the song, with its insistent shuffle rhythm, was a Top Five country hit in 1958.

Don Helms: Hank Williams' steel guitarist

A highly influential steel guitarist, Don Helms was best known for his membership of Hank Williams' band The Drifting Cowboys. His distinctive style, with its blues inflections and characteristic use of the upper octaves, featured on over a hundred of the singer's classic sides, including "Cold, Cold Heart" (1950), "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)" (1951) and "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1952).

Gregory Mcdonald: Author of the 'Fletch' series of novels

"Any questions you have for me, write backwards and offer to your editors as think-pieces. Just ask your editors to label such fanciful essays as 'Analysis'." So announces the former newsman turned adviser, Irwin Maurice Fletcher when the press corps is gathered in Fletch and the Man Who (1983). One of the most entertaining novels about a Presidential campaign, it found Fletch caught up in as much louche behaviour – including murder – as any of those in which Gregory Mcdonald featured him. After a 1974 debut, these took their Boston author from near-destitution to worldwide sales and films with Chevy Chase – all of which made him seek sanctuary on a Tennessee farm.

Fireflies in decline as natural habitats are destroyed

Male fireflies attract females with their winking backsides, but despite this innovative mating call numbers of the tiny insects are in decline, thanks to urban sprawl, industrial pollution and artificial lights.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor