News President Hollande - a frustratingly minimalist domestic reformer but a bold, global statesman

The French President has been criticised for his interventions in Mali and CAR but insists it is not old-fashioned paternalism but a mission to save lives

Nkosazana Zuma: Africa's first World Cup

This is the moment many on the African continent have been waiting for, the moment we host the World Cup.

Wallington joins Coal of Africa

Coal of Africa, the ambitious London-listed miner, has hired highly regarded industry figure John Wallington as its chief executive.

Semenya's law firm threatens action

The legal firm representing Caster Semenya has threatened to take legal action to get the world 800m champion back into action on the South African track and field circuit. Dewey & LeBoeuf said yesterday that it would consider mounting a case against Athletics South Africa if the domestic governing body continued to bar its client from competition, pending the outcome of gender verification tests on the 19-year-old by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo, By Michael McCarthy

Celebrated by talents as various as Keats and Eric Maschwitz ("'There were angels dining at the Ritz, And...' You know what's coming," adds McCarthy), the nightingale is one of the 50 bird species that fly from Africa to spend the summer in Britain.

Mission of the Month: Mali has a vibrant history marred by trouble

A series of despatches by diplomats from British embassies and High Commissions around the world

Stampede at Timbuktu festival kills 26 pilgrims

Twenty-six people were crushed to death and 40 injured in a stampede at the famous 14th-century mud mosque in Mali's desert city, Timbuktu.

Travel By Numbers: Mali

A trip to the fabled city of Timbuktu really is possible, says Peter Harmer. And while you're at it, head into the Sahara for an overnight trek

Rebels with a cause – and plenty of joy

The sixth African Soul Rebels package tour brings together three of Africa's most radical artists, Oumou Sangare, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and the Kalahari Surfers.

11 and 12, Barbican Theatre, London

Meditation on a peace puzzle

Mali anger at missing cup cut

Angola and Algeria both advanced to the quarter-finals of the tournament thanks to a goalless draw in Luanda yesterday. Third-placed Mali missed out despite finishing with a better goal difference than Algeria courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Malawi in the other Group A match.

Angola left stunned by fightback

Angola 4 Mali 4

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Jazz Café, London

I Speak Fula, the new album Bassekou Kouyate is launching tonight, easily betters his groundbreaking debut, Segu Blue. The title track sees the ethnically Bamana Kouyate bringing Mali's Fula and their music into his fold. But, like his compatriots Amadou and Mariam with last year's Welcome to Mali, it acts as a general invitation to cross borders in a widening world.

Broken Glass, By Alain Mabanckou

Best known for his novel African Psycho, the Congelese novelist and poet Alain Mabanckou likes to write playfully about his country's more intractable problems.

Back on the airwaves - 'reborn' Kershaw returning to Radio 3

After more than two years off the radio airwaves, following a nervous breakdown and family disintegration, the award-winning presenter Andy Kershaw has confirmed that he is to make a comeback to BBC Radio 3.

Mali's ngoni master speaks to the world

Bassekou Kouyate put his instrument on the music map with a stunning debut album. Claire Soares catches up with him in Paris, ahead of a UK tour, to talk about his expansive follow-up
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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes