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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform