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

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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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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