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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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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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