News

The Embraer passenger plane crashed just outside Lagos airport's domestic terminal this morning

Tony Allen, Southbank Centre, London

Drumming up Lagos in London

Still struggling – Fela Kuti's family fights on

The legendary nightclub that carries on the family tradition for music and protest has been shut down once again by the Nigerian authorities, angered by its activism

Adetomiwa Edun: A Romeo to die for

He's only the second black actor to play the tragic hero at the Globe. But, says Amol Rajan, it's Adetomiwa Edun's star quality and natural charisma that really matter

Nigerian militants free British hostage

Nigeria's most prominent militant group yesterday released one of two British hostages that were kidnapped in the restive Niger Delta seven months ago.

Rhodri Marsden: There's a lesson in Jack Straw for us all

For some reason the internet clouds our processes of reasoning

Lost in Lagos? The mystery of Jack Straw and the Nigerian scammers

A message from 'Jack': "I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept..." "I would like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently to settle my hotel bills and get myself back home"

How a tagged television set uncovered a deadly trade

A choking pall of thick black smoke hangs over the small mountain of smashed circuit boards, shards of glass and plastic carcasses of televisions and computers that is slowly leaching a stream of toxic heavy metals and carcinogenic chemicals into the adjacent river.

Leading article: A dirty and illegal trade

The European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive, which became law in Britain two years ago, was intended to ensure that such waste was disposed of safely. Special recycling plants were equipped for the purpose. As our report today establishes, detail by grimy detail, laudable intention and actual practice are still very different things.

Dumped in Africa: Britain’s toxic waste

Children exposed to poisonous material in defiance of UK law

The Hounding of David Oluwale, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

The popular chant from Elland Road Kop in the late 1960s – "The river Aire is chilly and deep, Olu-wa-le; Never trust the Leeds police, Olu-wa-a-le" – doesn't actually feature in The Hounding of David Oluwale, Oladipo Agboluaje's adaptation of Kester Aspden's harrowing book. But it was sung to constables on the terraces at the time of the Scotland Yard investigation into the systematic hounding of the eponymous Nigerian immigrant. A stone's throw from West Yorkshire Playhouse stands Millgarth Police Station, where arrest sheets describe his nationality simply as "wog", and where Oluwale was locked up, beaten up and cruelly sent up.



Dawn Walton's vivid production for Eclipse Theatre spares us the sight of Sergeant Kitching and Inspector Ellerker urinating on the vagrant or setting fire to the papers he slept under. But that in no way lessens the shocking impact of his death by drowning – whether Oluwale was pushed by the policemen or, in desperation, jumped – in the river near the city-centre doorways he called home. That city was also desperate to present a shiny new image to the world, and a tramp didn't fit into that image. So much for Oluwale's belief in the benevolent, civilising nature of England.



It's when a body is fished out of the Aire that Agboluaje's gripping stage version begins. Having a dead person come alive is never easy. In Daniel Francis's unflinching depiction of a young man gradually worn down by long stints in a mental hospital, in prison or on the streets, Oluwale is made larger than life. As the flashbacks to his childhood at the end of colonial rule in Lagos reveal, he was full of hopes and dreams.



On an ingenious set by Emma Wee, Oluwale's life and death are unfolded in short scenes and sometimes rather stilted dialogue, driven largely by chief investigator Perkins. Agboluaje doesn't tell us that he later had a breakdown, but there's a hint of that in the nervous intensity Ryan Early brings to the role. Out of a cast in which everyone plays many roles, Clare Perkins gives fine support as Oluwale's Maa'mi, and Laura Power is especially touching.



That the play works as both incisive social comment and emotional drama – and warning – is a credit to all those involved in bringing David Oluwale to life again.



To 21 February (0113-213 7700), then touring to 4 April ( www.eclipsetheatre.org.uk)

Ten great music venues

Madison Square Garden New York, US

4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York; www.thegarden.com; 001 212 465 6741

Madison Square Garden's claims to being the world's most famous arena is no idle boast. This is the venue that hosted John Lennon's last ever public performance (right), back in 1974. The ex-Beatle had struck an agreement with Elton John that if their duet, "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" made it to No 1, then he would appear onstage with Elton. So, on Thanksgiving Day the pair appeared together at the Garden to play three songs. The venue initially opened in 1879 on Madison Avenue (hence the name) for bicycle racing. It's been through three incarnations since then, with the most recent one built on top of Penn Station in 1968.

Tainted teething syrup kills 84 babies in Nigeria

'My Child' medicine found to contain anti-freeze

Tony Allen with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

The crowd is packed in so tight that dancing isn’t an option. Despite the disparate star guests – Natty, Damon Albarn and Baaba Maal – they are almost all here for Chicago’s obscure nine-piece jazz band the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Eight of these slickly hip-hop-styled young men are sons of Phil Cohran, trumpeter in Sun Ra’s space-jazz Arkestra and founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

On the right track: Africa Express

In a Covent Garden bar three years ago, the mood was one of simmering rage. The Live8 concert had just been staged with the declared purpose of saving Africa from debt and poverty. Bob Geldof had managed to get Pink Floyd to reunite, but could find room for only one African, Youssou N'Dour, on the bill. A tacked-on African event in Cornwall only added to the sense of the continent as an object of charity and pity. Damon Albarn, who had led the initial outcry, now plotted a counter-movement: Africa Express.

Born into the struggle

Femi Kuti has both Nigeria's music and its deadly political conflicts in his blood, he explains to Nick Hasted
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Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?