News

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.

TICKET OFFER: WELSH FILM FESTIVAL

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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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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