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.

12 million facing starvation in Africa, say charities

A trio of the UK's biggest charities launched a fresh appeal over the worsening situation in the horn of Africa yesterday, with Oxfam describing the food shortages as the worst so far this century.

Rise in climate change disasters

Climate change is increasing the number of disasters which hit children in poor countries, campaigners have warned.

Social workers 'failing to listen to children'

Children in life-threatening situations are being let down by social services staff who fail to listen to their concerns, a report warns.

A Day That Shook The World: Ethiopian famine reported on the BBC

On 23 October 1984, the BBC turned the world's attention to the terrible famines in Ethiopia.

Postage stamps paper over a crumbling nation

The image of a smiling farmer surrounded by a harvest of plenty in North Korea hides the reality – many people in the country face starvation after a harsh winter.

The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food, By Lizzie Collingham

Food is the first thing, morals follow on," wrote Brecht, as well he might in the Germany of his day. In this powerful and important book, Lizzie Collingham shows that the Second World War was about food. Like all the best ideas, Collingham's means that a lot of events fall satisfyingly into place. Events in the First World War caused the Second: both Britain and Germany endured food shortages, but in Germany they were crushing, and the continuing blockade in 1918-19 ensured a revolution from the left. The young Adolf Hitler never forgot, and he set out to prevent a recurrence. His plan for lebensraum was his attempt to give Germany its own version of the American breadbasket. If there was more farmland, Germany would be immune to blockade, and able to challenge Anglophone power.

Hospital food needs urgent treatment

Shopping locally would improve food on the wards, say campaigners for the sick and undernourished

UK agency had warning of flooding in Pakistan

The impact of devastating floods that tore through Pakistan last summer affecting more than 20m people and leaving more than 1,500 dead, could have been greatly reduced if information gathered by weather monitors in Europe about imminent rains had been shared with the authorities in Islamabad.

Hundreds have died of dehydration in care homes

Neglect levels in Britain's care homes were described as "scandalous" today after it emerged that more than 650 elderly residents have died of dehydration in the past five years.

$52bn of American aid and still Afghans are dying of starvation

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kabul on the rampant corruption that has left the country on its knees

Unhappy Cole says West Ham need to 'get ugly' to halt slump

Carlton Cole has called on West Ham United to get "ugly" to drag themselves off the bottom of the Premier League. The Hammers have collected only one win from 14 matches and are in a real battle to maintain their top-flight status.

Tackling life-threatening child malnutrition in Chad

Chad in West Africa has suffered prolonged droughts, poor harvest and, most recently, devastating floods, exacerbating a chronic food crisis.

Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years'

Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, an expert who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives said yesterday.

Album: Gallicantus, Dialogues Of Sorrow (Signum Classics)

When James I's son Prince Henry died aged 18 in 1612, from infection picked up during an ill-advised swim in the Thames, the outpouring of grief was fulsome.

Gordon Brown: While the world looks elsewhere, a nation is dying in silence

It now has a name: "the hunger season". The United Nations rapporteur on food has described what is going on as "silent mass murder".

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Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor