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.

American Football: Mardi Gras in Miami as Saints win first Super Bowl



The New Orleans Saints completed their long-awaited transformation from chumps to champions by defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the Super Bowl to claim their first NFL title.

American Football: A local boy out to end New Orleans' dream run

Rupert Cornwell on Peyton Manning, the Colts quarterback hoping to upset the folks back home in Sunday's Super Bowl

The Princess and the Frog (u)

This is a risk for Disney, returning to hand-drawn animation, to old-fashioned musical and to even older-fashioned fairy tale.

American Football: Bush puts New Orleans on brink of Super Bowl

Reggie Bush contributed two touchdowns and more than 200 yards as the New Orleans Saints brushed aside the visiting Arizona Cardinals on Saturday 45-14 to reach the NFC Conference Championship game.

American Football: Saints hope 'Breesus' can bring deliverance to New Orleans

Four years on from Hurricane Katrina, the city is counting on a star quarterback to inspire their NFL team to their first ever Super Bowl

Frantic search for survivors begins after El Salvador floods

130 dead and 7,000 living in shelters as storm heads towards US coast

Hurricane Ida aims for Gulf of Mexico oil fields

Hurricane Ida roared through the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, where important oil fields are located, after triggering floods and mudslides that killed 124 people in El Salvador.

Mississippi turning: A river with a life of its own

It is a river with a life of its own and attempts to domesticate it for the good of industry have so far failed. Now, says Daniel Howden, the stakes are higher than ever

Judge blocks mixed-race marriage, then says I'm not racist

Calls for US official to be removed from office after he tells couple their offspring would be shunned by both communities

My life after death row, by man cleared of murder

The twentieth of May 1999 is a date that will haunt John Thompson forever. It was the day he was going to die. Convicted in 1985 of first degree murder and an attempted carjacking three weeks later, the father-of-two from New Orleans was 24 when he arrived on death row in Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison. Over the course of his incarceration seven execution dates came and went, and as the final sweltering Deep South summer of the millennium approached he believed it would he his last.

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, By Rebecca Wells

There's a bit of a vogue for these six/seven-word titles in upmarket women's fiction right now, a fashion which Rebecca Wells might have begun with The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Targeting intelligent women who want something relaxing to read without feeling they're being patronised, Wells's novels have the right mix of love and pain, told in a sparky yet sympathetic voice.

Observations: New play aims to take audiences on a journey through the heart of New Orleans

It is 40 degrees in New Orleans and the air is like steam. The young woman dodging debris on what was once her street is on the brink of tears. "How can it be?" she gulps. "Supposedly the richest country in the world, where we can be in Sri Lanka after the tsunami in less than 48 hours, yet the government could not make it to New Orleans in a week?" Her question encapsulates the tragedy of the city, while its implications have yet to register with those in power.

Album: JD Souther, If The World Was You (Slow Curve)

This is one-time Cocaine Cowboy (see Barney Hoskyns' book Hotel California) and Eagles-associate Souther's first album in 30 years and if he looks a little battered on the cover, that mournful, semi-yodel catch in the voice sounds as good as it did on Black Rose, his semi-masterpiece from 1976. The opener, "I'll Be Here at Closing Time", is a song so miraculously simple that it's hard to get beyond it. When you do, there are jazzy horn arrangements, Louisiana shuffles, and more of that world-weary voice.

Snooks Eaglin: New Orleans guitarist and singer known as 'the human jukebox'

The New Orleans guitarist and singer Snooks Eaglin displayed a breathtaking dexterity, combined with an amazing ability to remember over 2,000 tunes that earned him the nickname "the human jukebox". This endeared him both to local audiences in the Crescent City and to many of the rock musicians visiting the area; Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt and Robert Plant admired his inimitable playing style and sought him out.

Republicans turn to a new boy wonder in reply to Obama

Indian-American Governor of Louisiana is critical of President's recovery plan
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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
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High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
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Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz