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: Nigeria's desperate plight

If the trial of the Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for attempting to blow up a plane over Detroit draws some attention to his country of origin it can only be for the better. For more than a month now one of Africa's richest and most important states has been without an effective leadership, as its president Umaru Yar'Adua, has disappeared abroad, reportedly to a hospital in Saud Arabia where he lies virtually incommunicado.

Talent 2010: The photographer, Tim Hetherington

"Photography is dead in its traditional form," says Tim Hetherington. With the proliferation of digital culture, his view is that authenticity is now more important than style. "Many people can take pictures as good as mine but mine are more authentic because of my experience."

Time to clip the wings of the vultures?

This week vulture funds hit another desperately poor country with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. Charities want a new law to stop them, reports James Moore

Comic relief: Zadie Smith's passion for British comedy

Once a prodigy of fiction, Zadie Smith has grown into a writer, critic and teacher with an international outlook - and a lasting passion for British comedy. Boyd Tonkin meets her

Johnny Mad Dog, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, 97 mins, (15)

The terrifying childishness of war emerges in this unflinching account of an unnamed civil conflict

Money and Mandarin lessons fuel China's African invasion

From Liberia to Ethiopia, Beijing is constructing a 21st century empire thousands of miles from home

Gareth Thomas: Basic healthcare for the world's poor should be a right, not a luxury

Last week I was in Sierra Leone, where I met Aisata Jabbie, an 18 year old mother in agony after complications during a home birth. She couldn't afford to give birth in the local hospital.

Research highlights needless death of a million babies

More than than a million newborn babies are dying needlessly every year around the world because of lack of care in their first month of their life, according to research.

Art in Paris: Big Sister is watching you

This weekend hundreds of immense pairs of eyes will be gazing at the river boats on the Seine. They belong to heroic women from the world's worst trouble spots. John Lichfield meets the artist

Hilary Clinton wins hearts as she concludes African tour

In Liberia, Hillary Clinton brought out the crowds despite torrential rain.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf: We will not rest until the gains of peace are felt by all Liberians

When, on 16 January 2006, I spoke to the nation, I recognised that the vote for me was a vote for change. More than that, it was a vote for peace, security and stability; a vote for individual and national prosperity; a vote for healing and leadership. I expressed humility in the enormity of the challenges that lay ahead – to heal our nation's wounds, redefine and strengthen its purpose, make democracy a living and effective experiment, promote economic growth, create jobs, revitalise our health and education facilities and services, and quicken the pace of social progress and individual prosperity in our country.

Raped eight-year-old shunned by family

A refugee girl aged eight who was gang-raped in a shed by four boys from her homeland, Liberia, has been shunned by her family.

Taylor denies Sierra Leone invasion

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has told a war crimes court in The Hague that he played no part in forming the guerrilla force that invaded Sierra Leone in the early 1990s.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
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health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own