The Top Ten: Dearly departed names of countries

Place names are almost never changed for the better. David Head was taken by the Despotate of Epirus, a medieval state in Albania and western Greece. But, partly because it's why I know them, I restricted this list to countries that have issued postage stamps.

Malawi threatens to 'smoke out' protesters

Malawi's government yesterday sent troops into cities as President Bingu wa Mutharika threatened to "smoke out" those opposed to his strong-armed rule after an unprecedented wave of protests left 18 people dead.

Traveller's guide: Family safaris

If you get the details right, a trip to view Africa's amazing wildlife can be the ultimate adventure for parents and children, says Mike Unwin

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.

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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.