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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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

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Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
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Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

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My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
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