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.

JONATHAN FRANZEN: The American writer says Twitter is an ‘irresponsible medium’

Twitter hits back after Franzen rant

The novelist Jonathan Franzen has called Twitter an "irresponsible medium" which has become the enemy of writers and readers.

Louisiana Red: Blues singer and guitarist who found fame at Montreux

Popular music may be a young person's game but from time to time older performers come tonational attention long after what might be regarded as their sell-by date. Gordon Haskell, Ted Hawkins and Seasick Steve are good examples, and so too is the blues singer and slide guitarist, Louisiana Red. He had been a journeyman musician for many years before he triumphed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1975 and soon was seen as an elder statesman of the blues.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after last year's explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

BP starts court fight over Gulf of Mexico oil spill

BP will start one of the biggest fights in its 104-year history next week as the US Government sues the oil giant for the devastation caused by the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

DVD: Welcome to the Rileys (15)

Before the Twilight series engulfed her, Kristen Stewart was shaping up to be an interesting actress and she's convincing here as Mallory, a 16-year-old New Orleans prostitute in Jake Scott's low-key drama.

BP sues cement firm Halliburton over spill costs

Oil giant BP has fired the latest shots in a legal battle over the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, claiming contractor Halliburton should pay all of its billions of pounds of costs.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after last year's explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

Halliburton 'destroyed disaster evidence', says BP

BP is accusing Halliburton of destroying damaging evidence about the quality of its cement that went into the Deepwater Horizon well that exploded, killing 11 people and causing America's worst offshore oil spill.

Rex Features

Givers, XOYO, London

Afro-pop folk band Givers don't have a slogan, but if they did it would be "It's nice to be nice". The singers, Taylor Guarisco and Tiffany Lamson perform with the emphatic smiles of drama school children in panto. Their music is uplifting; to watch them is like watching happy Muppets dancing around, on ecstasy. They're aggressively happy – they bounce, and wiggle and gyrate and smile a lot. They even use the break between songs to tell us how much they love London ("I love that you drive on the left here. I really do," says Lamson).

BP nears end of clean-up from Gulf oil disaster

BP will no longer have to clean up oil on the Gulf Coast unless officials can prove it is from last year's Deepwater Horizon spill, according to a plan approved by the US Coast Guard.

Louisiana prepares for 20 inches of rain as Lee storms in

Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee were falling in southern Louisiana and pelting the US Gulf Coast yesterday as the storm's centre trudged slowly towards land, where businesses were already beginning to suffer on what would normally be a bustling holiday weekend. With floods from the storms of last weekend's Hurricane Irene still evident in New England, Lee could bring up to 20 inches of rain to some areas.

A Day That Shook The World: Hurricane Katrina lays waste to New Orleans

On 28 August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the American city of New Orleans with the force of a nuclear explosion.

Last Weekend: Bridgwater boy who helped Britannia rule

Rio and New Orleans may not quite quake in their fancy boots at the assertion by this Somerset market town that it is the "Home of Carnival". Nevertheless, I arrived last weekend for the first time to Bridgwater's tidy little station to find a touch of the exotic: not the model-railway shop on Platform 2, but the Pythonesque portraits on the opposite side of the tracks, part of a project called "Trains of Thought".

Album: Mama Rosin / Hipbone Slim and the Knee Tremblers, Louisiana Sun (Voodoo Rhythm)

My favourite Swiss-Cajun punk rockers have got together with a London garage rockabilly trio to make an agreeably gritty hybrid which has few of the flaws that exercises in musical genetic engineering are prone to.

Album: The Lil' Band of Gold, The Promised Land (Room 609)

Dreadful name. Mind you, so is Susan and we know that it is Susan's content which makes her beautiful.

Album: The Lil' Band O' Gold, The Promised Land: A Swamp Pop Journey (Room 609)

The Louisiana swamp-pop scene is one of the most distinctive local tributaries into the great river of US popular music.

Flooding hinders shipping on the Mississippi

Cargo was slowly moving along the bloated Mississippi River after a costly daylong standstill, while officials kept an eye on the lower Delta where thousands of acres of farmland could be swamped by water that is inching closer to the top of a levee.

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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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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

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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
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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
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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

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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