Voices Germany’s ‘Bild am Sonntag’ newspaper claims that President Obama knew that Ms Merkel’s phone had been tapped as early as 2010

About a year ago, I began to recieve a wonderful series of calls from America and London

The Weekend's TV: The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Sun BBC1<br/>Dirty Sexy Money, Fri, Channel 4

It's genuinely sad that Anthony Minghella should have died so young, and it makes reviewing The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency a slightly awkward business. A popular bank holiday entertainment shouldn't have been the capstone to his career, and given a little time, it won't be. But following so closely on his death, it will inevitably be received as a parting gift, which is not a seemly thing to subject to criticism. It's a relief, then, to find that its merits are distinctively Minghella's own, and that in adapting Alexander McCall Smith's hugely popular and arguably emollient stories for the screen, he and Richard Curtis have found a way to stiffen their representation of African life without losing the sweet moral clarity of the originals.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors, by Alexander McCall Smith

Sense and kindness under an African sky

Janet Street-Porter: Welcome to Botswana &ndash; the sanitised version

I've read every book about Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's No.1 Lady Detective, and this weekend I will be tuning in to the BBC film based on the books. But listening to the emollient tones of author Alexander McCall Smith on the radio yesterday, I felt queasy. Over the years, his rose-tinted view of life in this corner of Africa has become increasingly hard to stomach, the exploits of traditionally built Precious and her sidekick the plain, bespectacled Mma Makutsi going from whimsically charming to morally dubious – the literary equivalent of eating a can of Delia-approved tinned mince.

Best-selling author attacked over 'tribal stereotypes'

Portrayal of infanticide by 'No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' writer is condemned

Jill Scott in Africa

The singer and actress, Jill Scott, hadn't visited Africa before she went on location to Botswana for the new film of 'The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency'. She tells Nick Boulos why she will always treasure the experience

Pandora: Breakfast with Soames

Yesterday's breakfasters at the Goring Hotel, by Buckingham Palace, were treated to a dining spectacle worthy of Sir David Attenborough's hushed commentary. On one undersized table for two sat Little and Large: the slim-Jim prospective Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, and his spherical right-wing ally, Nicholas "Fatty" Soames, whose eating habits concern marine conservationists, and whose acclaimed love-making technique is, in the words of one beneficiary, akin to "having a fully loaded wardrobe fall on you with the key still in".

Small Talk: Indian firms put in a hot performance

Indian companies have outperformed on the Alternative Investment Market in the past year, with more set to arrive in London in 2008 as they look for international investment and recognition.

Safari: Kanana camp, Botswana

Anyone who has been on safari in an African game park knows the problem: word goes out that a leopard has been spotted feasting on a springbok, and the next thing you know every Land Rover within 25 miles turns up.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Al-Qa'ida leader in Iraq who propagated his message by beheading hostages on video

Jersey Royal and Arbroath smokie salad

Serves 4

GOLF: Transsexual to play in the British Open

THE TRANSSEXUAL golfer Mianne Bagger will be able to compete in the women's British Open at Royal Birkdale this summer.

Stephen Corry: Development must respect indigenous people's rights

From a speech to the Royal Society of Arts by the Director of Survival International

Loss of diamond licence could cost Anglo American $500m

The upcoming expiry of a key diamond licence in Botswana could wipe more than $500m (£285m) from Anglo American's profits, according to City analysts.

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British Library celebrates all things Gothic

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