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
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game