News South Sudanese government soldiers wait to board trucks and pickups; a cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa that should at the least put a pause to five weeks of warfare has been reached

Government and rebel leaders in South Sudan have signed a ceasefire – the first step towards peace in the country after five weeks of violence in which more than 1,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes.

Africa's wind of change, 50 years on

On the eve of Black History Month, Africans reflect on their independence

Ethiopian great sets his sights on 2012

Even at the age of 37, and with the most comprehensively glittering curriculum vitae in distance running history, Haile Gebrselassie is still managing to break new ground. Yesterday it was Newcastle. Next it will be New York. Then there is the new challenge of an Olympic marathon, back on British soil in 2012.

Haile Gebrselassie: The Greatest is finally here for the Great run

He may be 10 years late but the Little Emperor can make up for lost time at the world's biggest half-marathon today.

Minister's night in a family's mud hut with a Tory website editor

It might seem an unfortunate time for a Secretary of State to bed down for the night with a leading Tory blogger, but should the nature of the relationship between International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell and Tim Montgomerie, the ConservativeHome website editor, become the subject of internet speculation, they can at least call on eight Ethiopian children, three cows and a goat to confirm that their union was solely political.

How Lucy's meat-eating made us what we are now

The point in prehistory when our early ancestors first picked up a sharp-edged stone to butcher animals has been pushed much further back in time with the discovery of ancient bones.

Unearthed, the ancient texts that tell story of Christianity

A British bookbinder has restored ancient copies of the gospels dating back to the fourth century, writes Jerome Taylor

Walk the walk: You can help bolster Ethiopia's economic development with some strenuous hiking

Having spent a sticky afternoon winding our way behind donkeys laden with luggage through rocky fields and green pastures, our small group of hikers reached the village of Mequat Mariam just as the sun started brushing the horizon. After clambering over pentagon-notched basalt rocks, we sat at the edge of a huge drop-off eating home-made pancakes, drinking sugary black tea and looking out over what one of the group described as "the Grand Canyon without the tourists". Great crinkled folds of rock stretched out ahead of us, with the sun setting pink behind them and a tributary of the Blue Nile snaking through the bottom of a deep gorge far below.

Zenawi set for 25 years in office

Ethiopian prime Minister Meles Zenawi's ruling party has won a national election according to provisional results, the electoral board said yesterday – a victory that would extend his time in office to nearly 25 years.

Meles claims election win in Ethiopia despite poll fraud claims

Leader seen by US as bulwark against extremism heads for third decade in power

Kenya's dynamic duo smash records

Kenyan duo Eliud Kiptanui and Helena Kirop both shattered the course records on their way to comfortable wins at the Prague Marathon yesterday. Kiptanui, in only his second marathon, roared to an impressive time of two hours five minutes 39 seconds, while Kirop lived up to her pre-race prediction, winning in 2hr 25min 29sec.

Album: Gogol Bordello, Trans-Continental Hustle (American Recordings)

Now resident in Brazil, Eugene Hutz has welcomed new elements into the GB sound, as well as a new rhythm section including an Ethiopian bassist and Latin American percussionist.

British geologist shot dead during bandit attack in Ethiopia

A British geologist has been shot dead while working for an oil company in Ethiopia, the Foreign Office said. The 39-year-old, named as Jason Read, was killed on Monday near Danot town.

Briton shot dead in Ethiopia is named

A British geologist shot dead by gunmen in Ethiopia was named today as Jason Read.

Album: Mulatu Astatke, Mulatu Steps Ahead (Strut)

Following his 2008 collaboration with The Heliocentrics, Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke's star has risen appreciably, with last October's New York – Addis – London compilation drawn from his Sixties and Seventies work now followed by Mulatu Steps Ahead, his first new studio album in some time.

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...