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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Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
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3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
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music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
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The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
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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
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution