Alex Duval Smith

Alex Duval Smith is a freelance foreign correspondent based in South Africa

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Sierra Leone denies film's corruption claims

The Sierra Leone government held crisis meetings last week after undercover film-makers claimed to have exposed a chain of corruption and deceit linked to illegal logging which is destroying the west African country's environment.

Desmond Tutu: 'It is insulting to all South Africans to be asked to stomach legislation that could be used to outlaw whistle-blowing and investigative journalism'

Critics condemn new South African secrecy law

South African MPs yesterday passed a secrecy law that critics say harks back to apartheid legislation, criminalises investigative journalism and could be used to conceal corruption.

Alex Duval Smith: Self-styled spokesman for the poor will be back

For now, he would be happy to be premier of Limpopo Province and to concentrate on getting rich
Julius Malema is very popular among the poor and can pick up his political career later

Zuma casts out firebrand Malema with shock suspension from ANC

Leader of youth wing hits out after being handed five-year ban for bringing party into disrepute

President Jacob Zuma in leopard skin

Zulus urged to change spots to save leopards

If new, cheap fake fur takes off in South Africa, decline of endangered cats could be halted

Obituary: Gnassingbe Eyadema

Long-serving President of Togo

Our Woman In Paris: Ectoplasm ain't what it used to be

The fact that Parisians refer to the Phantom of the Opera by his real name, Erik, says it all. Fairies are out of fashion, levitation has fallen flat and ectoplasm is not emanating from mediums like it used to. In this era, in which ghosts have a negative effect on property prices, it is years since anyone admitted to attending a good séance.

Our Woman In Paris: A giant leap for the city's new icon

Her image is plastered around every Métro station in town, but the identity of the athlete chosen to adorn the official poster for the World Athletics Championships, which start this Saturday in Paris, has until recently remained a mystery.

Film: The liar king of Zaire

Lethal Weapon IV is most South Africans' idea of a good night out. So why are they fighting to see a documentary about a dead president? By Alex Duval Smith

Frontline Lagos: Taking the negotiation out of aviation

LAGOS AIRPORT is one of the world's least favourite places for airlines. It was never worse than earlier this year when it had its first aircraft hold-up. A Kenya Airways jet, taxiing to take-off, was blocked by bandits who opened a hatch and carried away baggage as crew and passengers looked down in disbelief.
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee