Arts and Entertainment What a racket: Conor Woodman in 'Scam City'

It's not just that the National Geographic documentary series Scam City is a pointless programme, it's that it's also a uniquely irritating one. Whereas most consumer watchdogs investigate scams at the instigation of aggrieved parties, in Scam City presenter Conor Woodman, travels the world looking for trouble and – what's more pitiful – often fails to find it.

Russell Wilson will be hoping to guide the Seattle Seahawks to victory over the New Orleans Saints

NFL Divisional Playoff: New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks match preview

A look ahead to this weekend’s Divisional Playoff match at CenturyLink Field in Seattle

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) dives for a touchdown

American Football: Colts come back from dead to beat Kansas City

Indianapolis pulled off the second biggest comeback in NFL play-off history to stun Kansas City, while New Orleans beat Philadelphia on the last play of the game as the first wild-card games provided a thrilling start to the post-season.

Flair's 'Dust My Rhythm & Blues'

Dust My Rhythm & Blues, album review: 'Lyrics that will have you crying into your beer'

Flair's remastered original is brash, beguiling and best played loud

A scene from American Horror Story

TV Review: American Horror Story: Coven, Fox

American Horror Story: Coven broadcast its second episode on Fox last night. Each series of the anthology show tells a different complete horror story, but with a returning repertory cast. It's always stuffed with great roles for women, particularly Jessica Lange, who won an Emmy for the show last year. This series is a Southern Gothic set in and around Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in New Orleans, and the cast seems to be having more fun than ever.

BP disaster probe hears that 4.2m barrels of oil were spilled

The question of how much oil spewed out of BP’s Macondo well during the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010 was centre stage at the hearing into the disaster yesterday, with a US government lawyer claiming that at least 4.2m barrels escaped.

Gulf coast on hurricane alert as US braces for tropical storm Karen

Landfall is expected late Saturday or early Sunday morning

Herman Wallace pictured in 2008

Former Black Panther Herman Wallace dies days after judge overturns murder conviction that saw him serve 41 years in solitary confinement

A former Black Panther who served 41 years in solitary confinement has died days after a US federal judge overturned his conviction for the murder of a prison guard.

Herman Wallace

Black Panther has conviction overturned - but only after 41 years in solitary confinement

Terminally ill ‘Angola 3’ inmate Herman Wallace claims he was framed for murder

Herman Wallace

'Justice gone wrong': Terminally ill ex-Black Panther has murder conviction overturned after spending nearly 40 years in solitary confinement

Herman Wallace has just weeks to live after being diagnosed with liver cancer

Judge orders new trial for five former New Orleans police officers convicted of bridge shooting after Hurricane Katrina

A judge has ordered a new trial for five former New Orleans police officers convicted of civil rights violations related to deadly shootings on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

‘Brain-eating’ amoeba found in US drinking water supply for first time

Deadly parasite that led to death of four-year-old came from mains tap in residential area of St Bernard Parish, Louisiana

A SWAT vehicle outside the Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph as investigators work throughout the early morning hours

11-hour bank stand-off in Louisiana leaves two hostages shot and killer dead

Suspect ‘believed a device had been implanted in his brain’ according to police

Paperback review: The Cutting Season, By Attica Locke

Belle Vie is a historic sugar cane planter’s house in the state of Louisiana, open for tourists, school visits and wedding receptions; the estate manager, Caren, is the great-granddaughter of slaves who worked on the plantation.

Album review: Harry Connick, Jr, Every Man Should Know (Sony Music)

There's something effortless about Harry Connick Jr's songwriting on Every Man Should Know, which may be a side-effect of having emulated Frank Sinatra for so long: one suspects that he even has a smoke and a Scotch to hand as he's penning the slinky jazz groove “One Fine Thing” or “Being Alone”, the track on which his Sinatra phrasing pays off best, aided by Wynton Marsalis's trumpet.

A large explosion and fire tore through a chemical plant in the US state of Louisiana today reportedly leaving at least 30 injured

Blast at Louisiana chemical plant leaves 'at least 30' injured

A large ball of flame and thick column of smoke could be seen coming from the plant

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect