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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Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

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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

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Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

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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

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Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

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Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

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