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.

Picture of the Day: Once this was all fields... The Mississippi floodgates open

Over the next few days, water spewing through a Mississippi River floodgate will crawl through the swamps of Louisiana's Cajun country, chasing people to higher ground while leaving much of the land under 10 to 20 feet of water.

Key Mississippi floodgate opened

Over the next few days, water spewing through a Mississippi River floodgate will crawl through the swamps of Louisiana's Cajun country, chasing people and animals to higher ground while leaving much of the land under 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) of brown muck.

The worst is yet to come from the mighty Mississippi

The flood is expected to crest next Thursday at Vicksburg, where the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers meet, at a level easily higher than in the Great Flood of 1927

Video: US prepares for record floods

Floodgates are opened near to New Orleans to divert record high Mississippi River flow.

Residents flee ahead of Mississippi floods

Residents of Memphis have begun to abandoning low-lying homes as the dangerously surging Mississippi River threatens to crest in coming days just shy of a 48.7ft record set by a devastating flood in 1937.

Armadillos linked to Louisiana leprosy

With some genetic sleuthing, scientists have identified a likely culprit in the spread of leprosy in the southern United States: the armadillo.

Protesters dragged from BP annual meeting

Oil giant BP faced the anger of protesters inside and outside its annual general meeting today, which came just days before the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Savage Lands, By Clare Clark

As Clare Clark's third novel so lushly illustrates, Louisiana has never been the safest place to live. In the early 18th century, when the novel is set, the colony's French pioneers had to endure, floods, hurricanes and famine.

Life term for man who murdered wife

An American millionaire who killed his wife in a ferocious and sustained knife attack outside their luxury home was jailed for at least 16 years today.

Wife murderer had shooting conviction

A retired American millionaire convicted of murdering his British wife in a frenzied knife attack had gunned down an unarmed man in the United States in 1994, a court heard today.

Census reveals devastating effect of Katrina on New Orleans

The city's population has plummeted and is whiter, according to long-awaited figures

Eunice G Sanborn

Eunice G Sanborn was a Texas woman who was cited as the world's oldest person. She died on 31 January at her home in Jacksonville, Texas at the age of 114. Sanborn was born in July 1896 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and moved to Texas in 1937. She outlived three husbands and a daughter, who died in 1996.

Album: Mama Rosin, Black Robert (Gut Feeling)

The Swiss Cajun/punk trio's third album is a little more introspective – although introspective is a relative term when it comes to these lovers of the rowdy and ramshackled.

'Dead' man charged with kidnapping girl

A man declared legally dead 16 years ago has been arrested for the kidnapping of a girl whose body was found in some woods.

Album: Various artists, New Orleans Funk Experience (Nascente)

This good-value-for-a-fiver compilation favours entertaining obscurities and the odd hoary old standard (Huey Smith's "Don't You Just Know It") over the usual Crescent City suspects.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine