Ian Birrell

Ian Birrell is a former Deputy Editor of The Independent and co-founder of Africa Express

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The Independent around the web

Save lives Mr Cameron, but don’t imagine you need to save Africa

Why does Cameron think Africa is in need of redemption?

Davos: Come on, corporate giants. Open up to us

If our Government wants to tackle avoidance, it should compel big businesses to publish exactly how much corporation tax they pay. Luckily Labour support the idea

In unison: Much of Mali’s music has been banned since last year’s Festival in the Desert

Musicians of Mali fight for nation's soul

As Islamist militants try to take over, suppressed artists show support for the French

It is vital to step in now and stop the deadly march of these extremist militias in Mali

If Mopti fell, it would plunge 120,000 into the arms of the Islamists, with their segregation of sexes, banning of music and brutal interpretations of sharia

For too long the West has been blind to Africa's true nature. Now, we risk being left behind

Turkey, France and Holland are building trade links with resurgent African nations

Churches' hostility to gay marriage only underlines their impotence

It may be low politics or high principle but the Government is right to push for this

Ms Dorries, to her credit, told Mr Wales they would not write a ‘whitewash’ report

When naive good intentions meet corrupt kleptocracy

Tagging along on an all-party trip to Equatorial Guinea, Ian Birrell saw how reality can quickly be forgotten

Man of the hour? 'Genius strategist' Lynton Crosby

Lynton Crosby is a disastrous signing for the Tories

He's been hailed as the "Wizard of Oz", but there are limits to the wizardry of the man who'll be running the Conservative election campaign.

Crisis stations: The 'Newsnight' blunder is the latest in a series of self-inflicted wounds

Epic blunder, but we must not let the BBC self-destruct

The Director General has stepped down, but the broadcaster needs yet more radical surgery

Michael Mates will challenge for the post of commissioner in Hampshire

At last! Commissioners will restore public trust in the police by devolving power and are long overdue

Lamentable leadership and the influence of unions have held back the men in uniform for too long. Now you can vote and exert some control over their actions

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Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there