News

Tests have confirmed 20 people died after contracting the disease on the island

Shark meat kills 27

Twenty-seven people died and 340 were critically ill after eating cheap shark meat in Madagascar, Reuter reports from Antananarivo. Doctors said the sharks had fed on poisonous algae.

Nod for PM

Madagascar's parliament has confirmed the election of Francisque Ravony as prime minister, Reuter reports from Antananarivo.

Fashion: That's summer wrapped up: This may not be Java, and OK, it's not that hot, but feeling exotic is simple in a sarong, says Marion Hume

THE sarong spells summer. At the slightest hint of sun, we reach for the one exotic garment that has become an integral part of the British wardrobe. Meaning 'sheath' in Malay, the sarong was originally a long strip of fabric worn tucked around the waist - exactly how it is worn here.

Strange companions await their fate at Olympia's art and antiques fair

Two of the more curious items at the Fine Art and Antiques Fair at Olympia, London. The stuffed head of 'Colonel Baden', a great dane given honorary rank as a regimental mascot (pounds 3,600), shares a table with an egg of the extinct elephant bird of Madagascar - one of only three uncracked examples in the world (pounds 75,000). The fair, with more than a million antiques, opens today until 13 June.

FOOD / From the forest floor to the ends of the earth, all year round: Thanks to the obsessive dedication of Jean-Claude Monteil, wild mushrooms are never out of season, writes Joanna Blythman

SOMETHING suspicious is going on in the mushroom trade. Ask regular diners in smart restaurants, or discerning shoppers who frequent specialist food shops: fresh wild mushrooms - once a fleeting pleasure in the peak season around October - are on offer throughout the year.

Madagascar opposition heads for election victory

ANTANANARIVO (Reuter) - The leader of the opposition, Albert Zafy, took an unbeatable lead yesterday in Madagascar's presidential election, ending 17 years of virtual dictatorship by the one- time socialist, Didier Ratsiraka.

Madagascar poll position

Antananarivo (Reuter) - Albert Zafy, who is leading in Madagascar's presidential poll, said he expected his opponent, Didier Ratsiraka, to go quietly. He did not think Mr Ratsiraka would mount a rearguard action to extend his 17 years in power.

A plea for 25,000 plants on Death Row: Flowers all over the world are going to disappear, unless we act fast. Anna Pavord appeals for help

YOU CAN scarcely think of a whale now without mentally adding the words 'Save the' in front of it. Pandas and gorillas are equally potent symbols of the need for conservation in the animal world. But what about saving the conradina, or the ramosmania or the nesocodon - or any other of the 25,000 plants currently threatened with extinction?

Opposition leading in Madagascar election

(First Edition)

Full marks for not keeping score

HAVE you noticed that television and radio quiz shows actually evolve? Clive Anderson, for instance, has been an innovative quizmaster and chat-show host, and I am not just thinking of the way in which he seems to enjoy being more nervous and twitchy than his guests. (Is he the only host who starts his show at the end of a sentence? 'Yes, well . . . anyway, right . . .')

Travel: To Nosy Be, stranger than paradise: Perfumed ylang-ylang, palm-fringed beaches, revolutionary politics: Jane Walker and her family found all these in Madagascar

'There's been a coup in the capital this morning,' said a grinning Jean, our guide for a planned day-trip to the remote Baie des Dunes, outside Madagascar's northern port of Diego Suarez. The laughter echoed all around us. Trying not to look too grim-faced, I inquired whether this should be regarded as serious news. 'Oh no, don't worry. This kind of thing happens all the time in Madagascar.'

ETCETERA / How We Met: 56. Gerald Durrell and Lee McGeorge Durrell

Author, animal-lover and zookeeper, Gerald Durrell, 67, was born in India, the son of a civil engineer. Much of his childhood was spent on Corfu, which inspired the hilarious 'My Family and Other Animals'. His latest book, 'The Aye-aye and I', is about a rescue expedition to capture the legendary black creature with huge eyes and slender fingers that lives only in Madagascar. His American wife Lee McGeorge Durrell, 43, is leading a campaign to save the world's rarest tortoise, the ploughshare, also from Madagascar. The couple live in Jersey and the South of France.

Madagascar gunmen fail in coup attempt

Antananarivo (Reuter) - Four members of an armed opposition group in Madagascar were captured after briefly taking over the state-run radio station yesterday and declaring a coup. The group broadcast a statement announcing the dissolution of the government and cancellation of a constitutional referendum next month.

OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Madagascar's finest hour: Tennis

IT could have been any tennis tournament anywhere in the world. Boris Becker was on Centre Court, Jim Courier was due on next on Court One. Then two teenage girls emerged shyly from out of the Val d'Hebron centre. They looked like autograph hunters; instead they were reminders of why the Olympic flame was burning close by.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee