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

A soldier loads a stolen fridge onto the back of a truck in Mali yesterday

Soldiers loot petrol stations as fuel and bread run low

A soldier loads a stolen fridge onto the back of a truck in Mali yesterday as other mutineering troops looted petrol stations, shops and hijacked vehicles.

Album: Rocket Juice & The Moon, Rocket Juice & The Moon (Honest Jons)

In a week replete with intriguing cross-pollinations of style and sound, this may be both the most deliberate, yet the loosest-sounding.

Daniel Howden: A dispute in the desert is now a global security issue

The weapons and fighters that have flooded south through the Sahara may be new but the Tuareg rebellion in the north of Mali has colonial roots. The design of the country by the French left the Tuareg minority of the north under the notional control of an often hostile south, and the results have mirrored those of similar carve-ups across Africa.

Jerome Taylor: Al-Qa'ida or not, this spread of terror could be disastrous

Violent Islamists have started to use increasingly bold tactics in the north

Johannesburg pensioners tune in

80 years of the BBC World Service

For eight decades it has brought a bit of Britain into the homes of listeners from America to Zanzibar. Peter Popham hears its birthday broadcast

Diageo rejig fuels talk Walsh may head for exit

Diageo, the drinks giant behind Guinness and Smirnoff, has promoted Ivan Menezes to chief operating officer, fuelling speculation that its chief executive Paul Walsh may be edging towards the end of his Diageo career.

Football titles world league: Rangers top, but who is most dominant?

Rangers, giants of Scottish football for almost as long as the game has been played there, have entered financial administration as a result of an outstanding tax case.

Vieux Farka Touré, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Every now and then, if you’re very lucky, you get to witness a live performance that blows everything else away. A gig that’s so inspiring it leaves you with a lasting smile etched on your face and a burning desire to download every track the artist has ever recorded. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Vieux Farka Touré.

Zambia celebrate with the trophy

African Cup of Nations: Zambia find redemption in Libreville

Zambia 0 Ivory Coast 0; after extra time; Zambia win 8-7 on penalties

African Cup of Nations: Third place is Sow sweet for happy Mali

Midfielder Samba Sow was dancing in front of his team-mates in jubilation after his Mali side secured an unexpected 2-0 victory over 10-man Ghana in the third-place match at the African Cup of Nations on Saturday. It was the country's best finish at the tournament since it lost the 1972 final.

22,000 have fled Mali, says UN

About 22,000 people have fled fighting in Mali to the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania, the United Nations said today.

Rebels killed in clashes in Timbuktu

Mali's defence ministry says the armed forces have killed about 20 northern separatist rebels and taken a dozen more prisoner during two days of clashes in the Timbuktu region.

John Mensah scored but was then sent off for a professional foul

Ghana made to sweat as Mensah turns both hero and villain

The Ghana captain, John Mensah, scored a rare goal and was then sent off as the African Cup of Nations favourites, Ghana, laboured to a 1-0 win over Botswana in their opening Group D match yesterday.

Libya celebrate their qualifying victory over Mozambique, a game played just a week after the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi

'We are brothers. If we win, it will be for Libya'

On the face of it, 151st in the Fifa rankings against 63rd doesn't sound the most intriguing fixture with which to kick off the 28th African Nations Cup, but when Libya walk out to face the hosts Equatorial Guinea in the Estadio de Bata tomorrow evening, whatever they end up doing, it will represent another stage in an extraordinary journey.

Libya celebrate their qualifying victory over Mozambique, a game played just a week after the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi

Libyan team captain: 'We are brothers. If we win now, it will be for all of Libya'

Tomorrow's African Nations Cup opener features a nation for whom just being there is a triumph. Jonathan Wilson hears why

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas