Bob Geldof

BBC apologises over Live Aid money reports

The BBC will today broadcast a comprehensive and humiliating apology for the allegations it made eight months ago that millions of pounds of Band Aid and Live Aid money was diverted into arms sales. The money had been raised during the Ethiopian famine of 1984/5 in the biggest fundraising event the world had ever seen.

The Diary: Venice Film Festival; Jonathan Lee; Tony Blair; Bob Geldof;

First impressions of Venice as the film festival kicks off: it's under radical reconstruction. Alighting from my vaporetto at the Lido, I was greeted by lots of fenced off bits and pieces, depressingly reminiscent of inner-city London roadworks. Go further inland and the Palazzo del Cinema is under construction while the historic Hotel des Bains is being converted into apartments (to the horror of upmarket Venice veterans). Still, at least the Excelsior Hotel is still standing. Aside from the off-putting construction works, another "trend" is already making itself felt in Venice this year – yet another visual artist has turned his hand to film. Isaac Julien will screen his Better Life at the festival. Inspired by a combination of contemporary Shanghai, Chinese fable and the 2004 Morecambe Bay tragedy in which 23 Chinese cockle-pickers died, it stars Maggie Cheung (above left). Julien, a former YBA and Turner Prize nominee, follows in the footsteps of artist colleagues including Sam Taylor-Wood, Steve McQueen and Julian Schnabel (whose film Miral also screens in Venice) who have all turned to film in recent years and have won film festival plaudits and prizes for their efforts.

Geldof's return to Ethiopia

Paul Vallely watches the rock star receive a hero's welcome in the country whose suffering inspired the next chapter in his life

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