Arts and Entertainment

There is a certain pleasure (however smug) in being ahead of the curve when spotting a particularly gifted writer, and a certain regret when the masses catch up with your discovery. The latter, of course, is the state desired by author and publisher, and Peter May has now made the transition from connoisseurs’ taste to popular bestseller.

In the Orchard, the Swallows, By Peter Hobbs

Despite the protagonist's years of suffering, this evocative prison story is a testament to the endurance of love and hope

KIM JONG-IL: In the 1960s, the‘Dear Leader’, in charge of propaganda, encouraged a personality cult

How myths and lies created a nation in thrall to its leader

David McNeill, who visited Pyongyang last year, found the mark of the ruling dynasty on every aspect of life in North Korea

The stars of the TV series Glee in full song

Band Aid's Christmas No 1 is given the Glee treatment

US TV stars will boost charity by introducing song to a new generation

Somalia: Famine risk recedes as aid gets through

Conditions for those affected by famine in Somalia have improved dramatically and unexpectedly in recent weeks, with the number of people now at imminent risk of starvation falling by two-thirds, according to the UN.

Islamists hit famine relief

Famine has eased in some parts of southern Somalia, but an Islamist insurgency continues to disrupt aid to a quarter of a million people in danger of starvation, the United Nations says.

Dirty Snow, By Georges Simenon (trs Marc Romano and Louise Varese)

L'Etranger in a strange land

Militants' exit from Mogadishu opens the way for famine relief

Mogadishu residents awoke yesterday to find that war had left the city for the first time in four years as Islamic militants al-Shabaab withdrew unexpectedly from their positions in the Somali capital.

Aid teams struggle to cope as Somali famine spreads

The famine gripping parts of southern Somalia has spread to three more areas, with the entire south likely to be declared a famine zone within the next six weeks.

UN warns that Somalian famine is spreading

The famine gripping parts of southern Somalia has spread to three new areas of the country, the United Nations warned yesterday, with the entire south likely to be declared a famine zone within the next six weeks. A famine was declared in two areas in the south in July, and the UN said the response has been inadequate.

Rain destroys starving refugees' shelters

Tens of thousands of famine-stricken Somali refugees were cold and drenched after torrential rains pounded their makeshift structures early yesterday in the capital, leading to appeals for aid.

Famine victims refused access to Kenya's showpiece refugee camp

Authorities fear the new 'Ifo II' could be overwhelmed, reports Emily Dugan from Dadaab

IoS appeal: Give a day’s pay for Africa

The famine in the Horn of Africa is now claiming 250 lives a day – and it will get much worse without immediate, substantial aid. The Independent on Sunday is asking its readers, their friends and families to join with its senior staff and each pledge one day’s pay to charity.

More than 2 million Somalis 'out of aid groups' reach'

Aid agencies are unable to reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the famine-struck Horn of Africa country where Islamist insurgents control much of the worst-hit areas, the UN's food agency said today.

Leading article: No excuses when it comes to famine

The debate about whether aid is a sound way of reducing poverty in developing nations is necessary and important. But what both sides agree upon is that it is essential to make a distinction between normal intergovernmental subventions and emergency famine relief.

Leading article: Foot-dragging while people starve

It is always difficult to know what to make of reports of imminent famine in Africa. Aid agencies are talking of 10 million people facing critical shortages of food. Cynics, by contrast, insist that most aid is wasted by corrupt governments. We gave last time, they say, and nothing has got any better.

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The male exhibits strange behaviour

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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