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

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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"

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

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.

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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