News The Teknik Perdana was looking for oil off the coast of Guyana

Two Britons are believed to be among the crew of a seismic research vessel under effective “ship arrest” today after becoming snarled in a territorial dispute that flared over the weekend between Venezuela and neighbouring Guyana, which dates back over a 100 years to when Guyana was under British control.

Cricket: The weight of great expectation

Chris Lewis returns to the England side after injury for the second Test at Headingley tomorrow. Adam Szreter spoke to him

From Maya to murder

JONESTOWN by Wilson Harris Faber pounds 9.99

BUDOMIR VUJACIC HAS KNEE SURGERY

Football

BOOKS : Visionary in a red gown

THIS second novel vaults over the difficulty traditionally associated with following up a successful debut. Swirling around nationalist and international politics, government brutality and corruption, it creates a rich impressionist landscape of a society in the throes of rapid and violent change, filtering economics and ideologies through the visions of childhood. The machinations of men in power are presented as both absurd and cruel: magical realism, here, is invented by politicians. The exuberance and extravagance of the images function as satire. This imaginary Guyana is both real and very weird.

how to go on an expedition

Holiday brochures leave expeditioners cold. For them the lure is exotic: tracking down striped hyenas in Kenya, and investigating their diet by collecting and drying their droppings, or befriending Chamacoco fishermen in Paraguay.

BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS CHAPTER & VERSE

BOOKS FOR CHRISTMASCHAPTER & VERSE2 Pamela Norris's beautifully produced Through the Glass Window Shines the Sun (Little, Brown pounds 13.99) brings together verse and painting from the Middle Ages. Illustrations from illuminated manuscripts accompany texts culled from Boccaccio, Chaucer, Malory and Anon: "Green groweth the Holly" is Henry VIII's charming contribution - a paean to fidelity, the hypocritical old so-and-so.

David McAlmont: the misunderstood star

Does David McAlmont deserve to be big? Ask anyone who's heard McAlmont and Butler's number 8 hit "Yes". This man has an extraordinary voice, the voice of a crazed Dionne Warwick. He's also beautiful, black and gay. Looking into life's crystal ball for a moment, does that spell STARDOM, or TROUBLE?

We must end this war of town v country

Most of us live in cities and constantly plot our escape. But now, rural interests are resisting the invaders

Worry no longer about that piece of string

BUNHILL

Guyana cyanide leak `a disaster'

Georgetown - President Cheddi Jagan of Guyana designated a large swath of territory south of the capital as an environmental disaster zone after cyanide from a Canadian-owned gold mine seeped into the Omai river, which joins the Essequibo, Guyana's largest river. Mr Jagan pledged to take all possible steps to contain the contamination from the deadly poison that was discovered at the Omai gold mine last Saturday.

Cyanide from mine threatens Guyana river

PHIL DAVISON

Illingworth prefers to keep a low profile

Ray Illingworth, who is an amiably talkative man, does not like press conferences. He has rejected several requests that, as the chairman of selectors, he should appear before the media at the close of play on each day.

Going to El and back

THE CREATURE IN THE MAP by Charles Nicholl, Cape pounds 20

Profile: Fighter against time Dennis Andries

Harry Mullan meets Britain's ageing lord of the ring who has earned res pect the hard way

OBITUARIES / Norman Beaton

As the elder statesman of black actors in Britain, Norman Beaton was a lifelong champion of their rights and opportunities in theatre, film and television. Beaton himself was involved in many ``firsts'' in all those media, although it was as the P eckhambarber in the Channel 4 situation comedy Desmond's that he gained international fame.
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