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

Dangerous to fly over Africa, pilots are told

Airline pilots warned yesterday of an impending air disaster because of a "critical deficiency" in safety standards in most of African air space.

Search for an assassin

Richard Turner was shot dead at Christmas 18 years ago. That was the price he paid for fighting apartheid. The South African police didn't find the killer; they probably didn't try. Now his ex-wife, Barbara Follett, and the other women in his life are travelling home from London to tell his story. Will they find truth, or at least some solace? By Emma Daly

Bowls: Scotland dominate

Scotland, defending the triples title with a completely changed line- up of Margaret Letham, Betty Forsyth and Sarah Gourlay, emerged as the only unbeaten team after the six rounds of matches in the Women's World Championships at Leamington Spa yesterday.

Botswana's army chief defends purchase of tanks and combat aircraft

Botswana's army chief defended the purchase of tanks and combat aircraft yesterday, saying the country had a right to decide its military needs for itself. Lieutenant- General Ian Khama made the remarks after criticism from neighbouring Namibia over Botswana's purchase of 13 SF-5 fighter-bombers from Canada and its attempts to buy 50 German-made Leopard tanks and other weaponry from the Netherlands. A Botswana military source who did not want to be identified said the deal with the Dutch was worth about $15m (pounds 10m). Canada has said the aircraft are worth $50m. "We are the ones to say what is and what is not necessary for Botswana," General Khama said. "We were made attractive offers that we could afford."

Where the mighty Zambezi used to flow

The Makgadikgadi pans of the Kalahari desert, once a huge lake, are now a vast expanse of salt crust and mud.

Win an adventure in Africa

To celebrate the exploration of Africa by record numbers of British travellers, The Independent has joined forces with STA Travel, world leaders in young independent travel, and overland specialist Kumuka Expeditions, to offer a dream trip to two lucky readers. You will fly from London to Harare and join a14-day overland adventure organised by Kumuka, taking in the highlights of Zimbabwe and Botswana and covering what is arguably the greatest wilderness in southern Africa. You will also enjoy plenty of thrills - you don't just sit in the truck all day - as you tackle everything from white-water rafting to bungee-jumping.

England trio's crucial games

Bowls

Where the wild things are

The British Gas Wildlife Photography of the Year competition is the world's most prestigious. This year the winner was Cherry Alexander, from Dorset, with her stunning Blue Iceberg, Antarctica (below). She faced fierce competition from some of the category winners, featured here. See them at London's Natural History Museum

Do parents ever really grow up? on holiday

MY MOTHER announced last week that she had decided to remarry. She told my sister, who told me, and I expressed some surprise, because a month ago things weren't going too well with my mother on the second marriage front. But my sister was definite - the wedding was imminent, apparently. So then I rang my mother in America, where she lives with her husband-to-be, my future stepfather.

Lucky escape for the diamond company

A SENIOR executive of De Beers, the diamond company, has recently been trying to persuade the vicar at his Surrey church to pray for peace in Angola. Every Sunday, the congregation currently prays for Botswana because some parishioners have connections with an aid project there.

A fantasist hidden in suburbia

Her life seems careful, conventional, commuter-belt drab. But Hilary Mantel, having triumphed over illness and rejection, has become a novelist of dizzying imagination interview

Obituary: Guy Clutton-Brock

Guy Clutton-Brock was the first white man to be declared a national hero by the government of Zimbabwe.

TRAVEL / Beauty and the beast: In pursuit of big game in Botswana, John Carlin was warned that one large animal might show an inclination to pursue him

'IF YOU see Pavarotti, give him a wide berth - and don't get between him and the water.' Marie, the hostess at Camp Moremi game lodge, was giving me my first lesson in bushcraft. I had just flown in from Johannesburg and she was escorting me to my tent. Pavarotti, she explained, was the resident hippopotamus.

STAYING IN / York on Ads: No 51: Range Rover - An upmarket journey puts top people in top gear

'This is a commercial,' it says, at the midpoint of Range Rover's new three-minute epics. It's a necessary caution, because they've worked so hard to make these accounts of the land authentic, concerned, and quality as to induce the worthy dullness of the nice-looking sponsored travelogue.

Ace travel films with nice little motor attached

(First Edition)
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

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Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride