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.

BP oil spill hitting all gulf states

Tar balls found on a Texas beach were confirmed as the first evidence that gushing crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon well had reached all the Gulf states.

Failing schools 'should be closed and pupils moved elsewhere'

Children in failing schools would do better if the schools were closed and their pupils moved elsewhere, research suggests.

Tom Mendelsohn: Can the power of prayer fix the Gulf spill?

That’s what the Louisiana State Senate believes, anyway.

US prepares for the worst after best hope of oil solution falls apart

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the worst environmental catastrophe that the US has ever faced, the White House conceded yesterday, as it warned Americans to be prepared for oil and gas to keep leaking into the ocean for almost three more months.

BP plays its final card to stop leak: sludge

David Usborne reports from the Houston command centre masterminding efforts to prevent an ecological catastrophe

The black hole at the bottom of the Gulf

No one seems to know the extent of the BP disaster

Picture of the day: The one that got away

A tricolored heron is photographed attempting to catch a tiny fish from the clean waters off the southern tip of the Louisiana coast, 75 miles south of New Orleans.

BP to try new fix as oil spill threatens Gulf

Energy giant BP was preparing today to once again try and staunch the unchecked flow of oil from a ruptured well that threatens an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Robot tries to thin oil at source of leak

A remote-controlled submarine shot a chemical dispersant into a massive undersea oil leak yesterday. Crews using the deep-sea robot attempted to thin the oil – which is rushing up from the seabed at a pace of about 210,000 gallons per day – after getting approval from the Environmental Protection Agency, a spokesman for BP said. The agency had halted two previous rounds of the dispersant to test its potential impact on the environment.

Dome fails to stop Louisiana oil leak

BP engineers were yesterday desperately exploring options to control oil gushing from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well after a setback with a huge containment dome fueled fears of a prolonged environmental disaster.

US Coast Guard sets fire to giant oil slick as it nears Louisiana

The US Coast Guard set fire to parts of a growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico last night in a desperate effort to keep it from reaching shore and hopefully avert an ecological calamity.

Oil pollution fears after blazing rig sinks

A crew member from an oil platform that sank off the Louisiana coast last night reported an initial explosion three hours before the rig went up in flames in a second, larger explosion, the Coast Guard said.

Bobby Charles: Songwriter who composed 'See You Later, Alligator'

Although Bobby Charles could neither read nor write music, nor play an instrument, he was a fine songwriter, writing the hit songs "See You Later, Alligator" (Bill Haley), "Walking to New Orleans" (Fats Domino) and "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do" (Clarence "Frogman" Henry). Keen to live in seclusion around the Louisiana swamps, he never promoted his own career, but a highly regarded album, Bobby Charles, with Dr. John and members of the Band, was released in 1972. His attitude to songwriting was simple: "When they come, they come."

Dale Hawkins: Singer, songwriter and guitarist best known for his seminal Fifties hit 'Susie-Q'

As with "Bo Diddley", "What'd I Say" and "Johnny B. Goode", Dale Hawkins' 1957 record, "Susie-Q" contained an explosive riff which became one of the cornerstones of the new rock'n'roll music. It is still familiar, and it could be argued that John Fogerty wrote several variations for Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Leading article: Bowled over

The Super Bowl has always been the quintessence of modern Americana: the glitz, the hype, the ludicrously expensive commercials, the half-time rock'n'roll and the strange sport which only North Americans take seriously.

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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable