News Gerard is one of the younger residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green

The West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has been a James Turner Street landlady for almost 12 years

Travel: Passport - 'Being a VIP gives you no special treatment'

My latest project has been the making of Planet Ustinov, a TV film in which Sir Peter Ustinov travels along the same route as Mark Twain did in his book, Following the Equator.

Navy sent to aid Honduras

IT WAS the sort of news kids love to hear, but it is a further blow for battered Honduras. The government announced yesterday that all schools and colleges will be closed well into next year as a result of Hurricane Mitch. Hundreds of schools and colleges were destroyed, or are under water or mud after the storm rampaged through this Central American nation last week. Those education centres that survived are now providing shelter for hundreds of thousands of people who lost their homes.

West is urged to waive debt

RICH NATIONS should consider writing off the debt of Central American nations devastated by Hurricane Mitch, Emma Bonino, Europe's Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, said yesterday.

Fishing Lines: Bitten by the land of Knud

WHENEVER I am seasick, I think of Knud Holst. It was on his boat in Ecuador that I enjoyed eight merry hours of seasickness. It was like dying, only worse. Knud was very sympathetic. He offered me a bloodstained, fish-smelling towel to rest my head on as I lay inert. A nice gesture, though it didn't do a lot for my seasickness.

Television Reviews: Hooked and Horizon

I GAVE UP eating sweets in 1976 (ugly threats from a sadistic dentist), so Hooked (C4), focusing on the addictive qualities of chocolate, was a bit outside my experience. Beautiful elderly ladies confessed to a lifelong habit while the kindly tones of the ubiquitous Zoe Wannamaker gave us the history of British chocolate. This involved a lot of monochrome Playschool-style footage of enrobing machines churning out chocolate bars and shots of old Cadbury's wrappers. The cheap commodities of the Empire provided puddings for all: sago, tapioca and chocolate, which, until then, had been an exotic luxury. Manufacturers evolved an ingeniously complex message that sold it as a guilty but wholesome pleasure. Women, easy prey to a strategy that played on chocolate's dual role as a reward and a compensation, were particularly susceptible. Men soon got wise to this and the box of chocs became a commonplace payment for little sexual favours ("the boxes that single ladies get and that married ones dream of!").

Travel Long Haul: Things are stirring in the swamp

Florida's Everglades are a haven of indigenous culture and rare wildlife, but don't forget the mosquito repellent.

Science: The Truth About... Amber

AMBER HAS been admired for its golden hues since time immemorial. It is only in recent years, however, that the wider public has become aware of its unique fossil-preserving features, thanks to Hollywood's Jurassic Park, which depicted the fictional extraction of dinosaur DNA from a mosquito trapped and preserved in amber for millions of years.

The last laugh came all too soon

City Life NEW DELHI

Just another manic Tuesday

Fishing Lines

Study to offer first full view of global warming

WILL global warming be good for Essex, one thing weighed against another? We may soon have a shrewd idea. For the full picture of what climate change may do to Britain is to be assembled in what the Government says is the first study of its kind in the world.

Britain declares war on malaria

THE Government will today launch a multi-million pound global programme to combat malaria as part of a drive which could eliminate the deadly disease in 30 years.

Much to be thankful for but much to do in the parish of St Kizitu

In the first of a series of articles before the G8 meeting in Birmingham, Paul Vallely reports on Third World debt

Letter: Mosquito bikes

THERE is nothing "green" about those motorcycles that can be heard screaming like a swarm of angry mosquitoes from at least a mile away. If government is to listen to the bikers' lobby and make changes to the law to encourage the use of motorcycles (photograph, 1 April) then it must also outlaw the machines that make our lives a misery. Noise can be as damaging to health as other sources of environmental pollution.

Travel: I searched India for the meaning of life, and then I discovered first class

COP A load of this: I am writing from a moving Indian train. Even as I type this sentence,the baking, dusty plains of central India are shuddering past my window. The tea-wallah has scarcely raised an eyebrow. How the world has changed in the last 15 years.
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
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Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
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Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?