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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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones