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

Face to face with nature

Lemurs purr when they are contented. You learn that when you observe them from dawn to dusk on an Earthwatch holiday.


Showing this week at the Welsh International Film Festival in Aberystwyth, is the premiere of Drop Dead Rock, starring pop icons Debbie Harry (right) and Adam Ant. Also being shown is Madagascar Skin - a touching Welsh drama in which a shy man, with a large birthmark on one side of his face, embarks on a journey of self-discovery after finding the battered head of a man buried up to his neck in sand.

Leading Article: Homes, taxes and Madagascar

Try this next time you meet your MP. Step up, take him or (occasionally) her by the hand and say the words "constitutional reform". Stand back and watch a strange physical reaction set in; the eyes stray to the watch, the legs begin to twitch, the hands to fidget. You are the unattractive dancing partner at the office party. He or she will want to get away - to leave you to your lonely enthusiasms.

Curiosity killed gentle lemur

Curiosity killed

The Duke and the forest ANOTHER VIEW Robin Pellew

The Independent reports that the Duke of Edinburgh, in his capacity as president of the World Wide Fund for Nature International, has not opposed the proposed mining by Rio Tinto Zinc of the coastal forests of southern Madagascar. It is important to make WWF's position on this issue clear.

Duke of Edinburgh defends Madagascar mine

The Duke of Edinburgh stepped into the dispute over Madagascar's unique ecology this weekend, saying that the dangers of opening up a new titanium oxide mine under a dry littoral forest had been "blown up" by Friends of the Earth.

RADIO / Travels that narrow the mind

Travel programmes Radio 4

Shipping firm sails into US

UGLAND INTERNATIONAL, the shipping firm that has taken over the share quote of Bristol Channel Ship Repairers, is understood to be negotiating a deal to take it into the lucrative US market, writes William Kay.

Rawnsley! Thou shouldst be living at this hour

It was the veal calf demonstrations that reminded Hunter Davies about Canon Rawnsley and his deeds. The veal calves and the M11 and, oddly enough, Natural Born Killers ...

Drug barons bankroll Third World

Richard Dowden reports on how `narco-dollars' laundered by racketeers a re providing more income than Western aid

Wind of change brings bad odour : Madagascar days

From a distance it looks like Paradise - a perfect crescent bay of bright blue and turquoise, rimmed by surf breaking on a white beach. Behind, stupendous craggy mountains, dark with forest, soar up into the clouds. Morning and evening, bare-backed fishermen set out in dugout canoes from the harbour under the old white Portuguese fort as they have done for centuries. But closer inspection reveals a world far from paradise. The main street of Tolanaro, which ought to be the promenade, is a half mile of potholes lined with shacks. There is a warehouse at one end and a whorehouse at the other. And if you prefer to walk along the beach you get a whiff of something nasty. At your feet lies a pat of excrement, then you see another and another. You pick your way through them but you can no longer afford to look at the view. This is the Third World without the H.

Letter: Madagascan forest cannot sustain mining

Sir: Richard Dowden spoils his careful exploration of the difficulties of protecting unique tropical forests while encouraging economic development in a deprived region ("Madagascar must choose between trees and titanium", 25 January), with the conclusion that "with the right mandate", the company concerned, Rio Tinto Zinc, can "have its mine, restore the forest and reverse the spiral of the people's poverty ...and still make a profit". If only it were true.

Madagascar must choose between trees and titanium

On the day that Andrew Lees is buried in his home county of Norfolk, Ri chard Dowden, Diplomatic Editor, assesses the impact of the mining project he t ried to stop
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Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
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In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
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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
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
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