News

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

Edinburgh Festival `98: Don't mention the d-word

Death, racism... paedophilia? Do right-on Nineties audiences really want to hear jokes about that sort of topic? Judging by the success of those comedians who've gone for the jugular, they probably do.

Now for something completely lemur

John Cleese is off to the rainforest to find something furrier and more elusive than pythons.

What all the best-dressed corpses will be wearing

Death is no excuse for bad dress sense.

Bones unearthed of T.rex's ugly cousin

SCIENTISTS have discovered the near complete skull of a genuine ugly monster, a wrinkly faced dinosaur with sharp teeth and horns that may have used its face to frighten enemies.

The Critics: Radio: International relations are the heart of the World Service

WHAT WOULD MAKE your day? For Adam, it was when Janice defecated from a great height. Yes well, all right; Adam is a naturalist and Janice is a black and white ruffed lemur. I thought at first that he said a rough lemur, and saw what he meant. She may spend hours suspended by her tail, looking like a monkey crossed with an elegantly coiffed toy dog, but her habits are noisome and loud. She's rough. She's taken to banging around with a wild male, which also thrilled Adam. His excitement was even further increased when she and her companions launched into a "raw shriek chorus". Adam seemed to think it a form of territorial advertisement; the ferocious racket sounded as if it had been made by a gang of enraged and intoxicated revellers, dangerously denied access to more alcohol.

Cinema: So that's why they called him Kermit Kline

FRANK OZ began his career with his hand up Fozzie Bear. Now he's turned to directing, although his irresistibly fluffy new comedy In and Out (12) has more than a touch of muppetry about it. Kevin Kline and Joan Cusack play the Kermit and Miss Piggy roles of Howard Brackett and Emily Montgomery, two small-town high-school teachers on the eve of a much-delayed wedding. Their plans are disrupted when a former pupil, movie star Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon), receives a Best Actor Academy Award for playing a gay soldier, and uses his moment on the platform to out Mr Brackett as a homosexual. If that scenario sounds familiar, cast your mind back to what Tom Hanks said as he picked up his award for Philadelphia. Yup, In and Out is the first film to be based on an Oscar acceptance speech.

Passport: Hilary Bradt - 'The villagers were very kind and welcoming, and fed us a meal of roasted weevils'

BEING the driving force behind specialist travel guide business, Bradt Publications, as well as an experienced tour leader, Hilary Bradt has no shortage of stamps in her little blue book.

MUSIC: Now You Squeeze It; Purcell Room, SBC / Cabot Hall, Canary Wharf, London

The first accordionist I heard was Jimmy Shand. I hated the instrument. It domesticated the wildness of Scottish bagpipe music and, from junior school country dancing to The Archers' theme tune, that seemed to be the accordion's function. Yet the characteristics that appealed to Shand make the accordion one of the world's best-travelled instruments. It's a portable orchestra, assuming the coloration of whatever musical tradition takes it to heart. Nor need it sound Shand-bland: the wheezing, whining accordion and strangulated vocals of Cajun give voice to a culture cast adrift, holding on to life with desperate fervour, and while there are links between Cajun and "Scottish country dancing", the musics are now worlds apart.

Man's natural cousins are in danger, so could we be next?

Half of the world's species of primates - the order of animals to which humanity belongs - are threatened with extinction, a new report concludes. The report, by Washington's Worldwatch Institute, says that the primates - which include apes and monkeys as well as man - have become the world's most imperilled group of mammals.

Travel: ISLANDS FOR ANIMAL LOVERS

If you fancy a search for the aye-aye, or any of the other 22 species of the endearing tree-dwelling lemurs, including the cute ringtailed variery, or even have the urge to identify 300 or so types of the reptile family, then Madagascar is your destination. The world's fourth largest island, it broke off from the African continent 160 million years ago, and since then its flora and fauna have followed their own evolutionary path, resulting in forms that are unique.

RTZ meeting ends in walkout by protesters

About 30 representatives of indigenous groups from across the world walked out of RTZ's annual general meeting in central London yesterday after Sir Derek Birkin, the chairman, barred further questions from the floor about the company's mining activities.

Glad to be just like everybody else

Will films about gays and lesbians in loving relationships move the genre out of its ghetto? By Howard Rombaugh

Clean hands policy

Clean hands policy

The past on a disk, real and imagined

h i s t o r y

TRAVEL BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS: Advice to voyagers: don't

HE WAS nearly washed overboard in the Southern Ocean. During WWII, he was on the run from the Italians and the Germans. After only a crash climbing course in Scotland, he went mountaineering in remotest Afghanistan. Setting off on a 1,200-mile river trip, he found himself after 200 yards stranded in 16 inches of water. Please, children, don't try this at home - or indeed abroad.
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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
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

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Screwing your way to the top?

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Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
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Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

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