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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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor