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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

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Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
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10 best PS4 games

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Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

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Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent