Arts and Entertainment Madonna inset with the painting Cubist Fernand Léger auctioned by Sotheby's New York for over $7m

The Queen of Pop will donate the proceeds to her Ray of Light Foundation to promote girls' education in the Middle East and South Asia

Malawian president pardons gay couple after UN meeting

The President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, yesterday pardoned a gay couple sentenced to 14 years in jail, after he held a meeting with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. "These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws. However, as the head of state, I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions," Mr wa Mutharika said after the meeting in the capital, Lilongwe.

Virtually all gay asylum-seekers sent back to persecution

Homophobic countries want their gay nationals in UK extradited to face prosecution over sexuality

Madonna condemns jailing of Gay Malawi couple

Madonna today condemned a Malawian court decision to jail a gay couple for 14 years - and demanded it be challenged "in the name of human dignity".

Gay couple given maximum 14 years in Malawi

A judge sentenced a gay couple who tried to marry to the maximum 14 years in prison with hard labour, and crowds jeered the two men as they were driven to jail yesterday.

Gay couple sentenced to 14 years in Malawi

A judge today sentenced a couple to the maximum 14 years in prison for unnatural acts and gross indecency under Malawi's anti-gay legislation.

Malawian men who tried to marry face 14 years in prison

A gay couple in Malawi are facing up to 14 years in prison after being convicted yesterday under colonial era sodomy laws in a trial that was widely seen as a test case for homosexual rights in southern Africa.

Peter Tatchell: Evils of colonialism still wrecking lives

The conviction by a Malawian court of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga on charges of homosexuality is the latest example of how, more than four decades after most African nations won their independence, the evils of colonialism continue to wreck lives.

Malawi convicts couple for being gay

A Malawi gay couple have been convicted of having a criminal relationship and could face up to 14 years in jail under the country's colonial-era laws.

Hit the open road with a new breed of exotic fly-drives

Argentina overland? Mark Rowe selects the best brave new destinations for adventurous motorists

How Barnardo's boss saved HIV positive children from being deported to die

As Martin Narey quits he reveals his proudest moment – and says more youngsters in care should be adopted

Africa gets its first branded café thanks to City banker

City banker Stefan Allesch-Taylor is planning to plough $1m (£650,000) of his own cash into a new not-for-profit café venture in Africa.

Celebrity, By Marina Hyde

The phenomena explored here include: Jude Law's personal mission in 2007 to bring peace to Afghanistan ("Obviously the situation was too complicated for us to sit down with the Taliban"); Pete Doherty's cat Tinkerbell taken into care when cocaine was discovered in its bloodstream; Madonna's charity event Raising Malawi, where the $800 Gucci bag given to each guest was coincidentally equal to the per capita GDP of Malawi.

Capello will find no reason to fear Algeria

England's World Cup rivals put on a shambolic show in 3-0 loss to Malawi

Algerians sympathetic but focused

Algeria emerged as serious contenders for the African Nations Cup in the build up to the tournament but need to re-focus after the shocking events that have overshadowed the opening matches in the tournament.

The love that still dare not speak its name

In the week that two Malawians go on trial for violating anti-gay laws, Daniel Howden finds that their experience is all too common in a continent of legalised homophobia
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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?
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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there