News

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

Sheila Hancock: Holding forth on Just a Minute on 'hope over experience'

Recycled Radio, Radio 4, Monday
Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle, Radio 4, Tuesday

Welcome to Hancock's half-minute (and other utter failures)

Model Bianca Gavrilas wears a a hand-embroidered cape made from the silk of the Golden Orb Spider in the V&A Museum's Medieval and Renaissance Gallery

Cape made of silk extracted from spiders to go on display

A cape created from golden silk spun by more than a million spiders is going on display this week.

Screen Talk: Ranger reined in

"Belt-tightening" and "austerity measures" are hardly buzzwords for Hollywood and those involved in movies that cost more than $100 million to make.

Album: Jef Gilson, The Best of Jef Gilson (Jazzman)

From jazz waltzes and groovesome modal vamps to the devotional operatic mash-up of "Agnus Dei" and an incredible version of "The Creator Has A Masterplan" recorded in Madagascar in 1969, this survey of the neglected French composer/pianist Gilson hits you like a bolt from the blue.

Foreign Office makes diplomatic push with string of new embassies

New British embassies are to be opened in El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Somalia and Southern Sudan as part of a radical redrawing of Britain's international diplomatic map.

Jamie's Dream School, Channel 4, Wednesday<br/>Attenborough and the Giant Egg, BBC2, Tuesday

Jamie Oliver's chums may be the alpha males of the media world, but naturals in the classroom they are not

Seaweed may be the key in the fight against malaria parasite

A red seaweed found off the Pacific island of Fiji has been found to contain a powerful class of natural substances that can effectively destroy the malaria parasite, scientists said yesterday.

It's Your Round, Radio 4, Thursday<br/>David Attenborough's Life Stories, Radio 4, Friday

A Radio 4 panel show? Your rehab is almost complete, Mr Deayton

Ousted Madagascar president barred from returning

Madagascar's ousted president has been barred by officials in his homeland from returning from exile in South Africa today, the politician told reporters at Johannesburg's airport.

Last Night's TV: Madagascar/BBC2<br />A History of Ancient Britain/BBC2

It's a little early to say whether Outcasts is going to be a hit or a space turkey. If it's the latter then nobody's going to have to worry too much about exoplanet locations for science-fiction series, since it will have effectively scorched the Earth for at least the next five years. If it works, though, there's going to be something of a rush on for vistas on this planet that look like they're on another. Might I suggest an early provisional booking for Madagascar, a wondrously unfamiliar landscape that comes helpfully accessorised with an otherworldly ecology. More than 80 per cent of the species are found nowhere else on Earth, which helps to maintain the frisson of alienation, and what's more many of the animals even sound like they've been invented by a science-fiction writer. Anyone for the tenrec, a kind of elongated hedgehog that produces a litter of up to 32 tiny (and spiny) little tenrecs? And if that doesn't take your fancy what about the fossa, a giant tree-climbing mongoose with a pair of vampire fangs? Or the sifaka, a white lemur that gallops sideways through the undergrowth?

Mad about Madagascar

David Attenborough loves its exuberant wildlife, but this island in the Indian ocean has much more besides lemurs to offer, reveals Kate Eshelby

Where the weird things are: Meet the finger-lickin' odd aye-aye

If Madagascar is the kingdom of the weird, then the aye-aye surely wears its crown. Just one glimpse of those bulging orange eyes, naked bats' ears and crooked witches' fingers explains why this creature is, for many islanders, the stuff of the heebie-jeebies.

Madagascar Oil shares suspended on licence bid

Shares in Madagascar Oil have been suspended, less than three weeks after the company was listed, because the island's government has made moves to buy back the company's licences.

Small Talk: Madagascar Oilgets set to bring its island story to AIM

If there is one thing that AIM market investors don't lack, it's options in the oil industry. The growth index boasts a variety of opportunities to put money in the black stuff. And this week, it will witness the debut of another, this one offering exposure to resources in the island nation of Madagascar.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there