News Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's motorcade commander has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 300kg of cannabis

The commander of the Liberian President’s motorcade has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 300kg of cannabis.

Leading article: A landmark ruling for international justice

With the conviction of Charles Taylor, warlords can no longer rest easy

William Hague welcomes Charles Taylor ruling

Foreign Secretary William Hague today welcomed the conviction of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for crimes against humanity.

Lost boys: What became of Liberia's child soldiers?

In the 1990s, Liberia was torn apart by a civil war in which child soldiers fought for the guerrilla leader Charles Taylor. As an international court delivers its verdict on Taylor, Finlay Young meets the former fighters back in Africa – now grown up, but not regretful of their past.

Blair tight-lipped over Liberia's anti-gay laws

During his time as prime minister, Tony Blair championed equal rights for gay people and introduced a host of laws to improve equal rights. But the former Labour leader may face some difficult questions after the release of a joint video interview in which he refused to respond to comments by the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in support of her country's repressive laws targeting gay people.

Corruption and greed on screen

A new documentary on blood diamonds from Lars von Trier's company is as controversial as anything the director has done himself. Geoffrey Macnab reports
Two tribes: director Mads Brugger dancing with Pygmies

Can you make a film about corruption in Africa and not be corrupted?

A new documentary on blood diamonds from Lars von Trier's company is as controversial as anything the director has done himself

Grounded cargo ship breaks up off the coast of New Zealand

A cargo ship grounded off the New Zealand coast since October has split in two, spilling sea containers and debris and sparking fears of a fresh oil spill, maritime officials said today.

Former warlord holds key to presidential poll

A notorious former warlord has emerged as "kingmaker" in a Liberian election that grabbed the attention of the world this week when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the President running for a second term.

Warlord to Kingmaker: An audience with Prince Johnson

Once he ordered torture. Now, he tells Daniel Howden, he controls the future of Liberia

Tough test for Nobel Peace prize-winner in Liberia vote

Liberia goes to the polls tomorrow in a tense contest that pits this year's Nobel Peace prize-winner against a former world footballer of the year in a country still recovering from a prolonged and savage civil war. The incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, must see off a strong challenge from an opposition counting on the popularity of its vice-presidential candidate George Weah, who has a passionate grassroots following.

Nobel award is a victory for the Arab Spring and women's rights

Peace Prize is shared between three of Africa's most inspirational figures

Feted on the international stage, but accused of hollow promises at home

Accolade hit by accusations of political corruption as Liberian President seeks re-election

Changing My Mind, By Zadie Smith

This choice of her occasional essays displays the best of Smith as critic, memoirist and all-round wrangler with arts and ideas. She emerges as thoughtful but never pompous, agile but never glib, witty but never cruel, with heart and head sweetly aligned.

UN finds 115 bodies in western Ivory Coast

United Nations staff in western Ivory Coast have found more than 100 bodies in the past 24 hours, some burned alive and others thrown down a well, in a further sign of the ethnic violence gripping the country.

Hague calls for restraint in Ivory Coast

Foreign Secretary William Hague called for restraint in crisis-hit Ivory Coast as a charity said many of those fleeing the violence were children.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'