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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment