Arts and Entertainment What a racket: Conor Woodman in 'Scam City'

It's not just that the National Geographic documentary series Scam City is a pointless programme, it's that it's also a uniquely irritating one. Whereas most consumer watchdogs investigate scams at the instigation of aggrieved parties, in Scam City presenter Conor Woodman, travels the world looking for trouble and – what's more pitiful – often fails to find it.

Album: Jordi Savall, Hespèrion XXI, La Capella Reial De Catalunya Jeanne D'Arc: Batailles & Prisons (Alia Vox)

This latest of Jordi Savall's historical projects follows his usual meticulous manner: lavishly presented in a hardback book featuring colour reproductions and essays, the two CDs offer an exhaustively researched account of the story of Joan of Arc, accompanied by early-music arrangements of period compositions rendered by Hespèrion XXI.

Victory for Kevin Costner in £17m oil spill case

A court has rejected claims that Kevin Costner and his business partner duped his fellow actor, Stephen Baldwin, and a friend out of millions of dollars from a BP deal for using their oil clean-up devices in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

Van Halen's David Lee Roth (right) and Eddie Van Halen perform

Van Halen reunion tour hits the rocks amid feud rumours

Van Halen's fractious past and frequent bust-ups have won a reputation as one of rock's greatest feuds.

Eve Mutso as Blanche DuBois finds comfort with Erik Cavallari in <i>A Streetcar Named Desire</i>

A Streetcar Named Desire, Sadler's Wells, London

Tennessee Williams as dance? I do declare! But Scottish Ballet triumphs with a perfectly told tale

Bourbon Street at its busiest

New Orleans: Where every building tells a story

The French Quarter of the city was moulded by its history of piracy, slavery, royalty – and ghosts

Policeman suspended over Trayvon comments

The furore over the shooting of a 17-year-old African- American on a Florida street one month ago continued to rage yesterday as the victim's parents attended hearings on hate crimes in Washington, and outrage erupted in New Orleans over comments made by a police officer about the case.

Protesters in Atlanta with a poster of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin

Policeman sparks fresh Trayvon outrage by branding him a 'thug'

Officer suspended and city on edge as murdered teenager's family meet politicians in Washington

Russell Brand's divorce from Katy Perry proved a ceremony organiser's nightmare, and Brand was shifted to the ranks of the uninvited for the People's Choice Awards

Russell Brand arrested in US

Russell Brand has been arrested for criminal damage after police in the US issued a warrant for him.

Album: Hue and Cry, Hot Wire (Blairhill)

Hot Wire opens like gangbusters with the one-two punch of "Duty to the Debtor" and "Little Man", surely the best opening ever to a Hue and Cry album; but by the end, the impact has been dissipated by a little too much polemic, a few too many languid funk moves, and a drab attempt at emulating Steely Dan.

JONATHAN FRANZEN: The American writer says Twitter is an ‘irresponsible medium’

Twitter hits back after Franzen rant

The novelist Jonathan Franzen has called Twitter an "irresponsible medium" which has become the enemy of writers and readers.

DVD: Welcome to the Rileys (15)

Before the Twilight series engulfed her, Kristen Stewart was shaping up to be an interesting actress and she's convincing here as Mallory, a 16-year-old New Orleans prostitute in Jake Scott's low-key drama.

Holly Bleasdale is second on the world indoor all-time list

Bleasdale is going up in the world in time for London

Yelena Isinbayeva, the long-time pole vault queen, was in action in Volgograd on Saturday, preparing for the defence of her Olympic crown. She must be worried. A rising young British star is threatening to dethrone her.

City of the Dead, By Sara Gran

A damp squib down on the bayou

Album: The Pimps of Joytime, Janxta Funk! (Wonderwheel)

The new year has its first great party album: a no-nonsense distillation of the most infectious elements of party funk, with a welcoming approach that emphasises peaceful good times.

Album: Calexico, Selections from Road Atlas 1998-2011 (Quarterstick/City Slang) (4/5)

Over the past 14 years, Calexico have released eight limited-edition tour CDs, available only at their shows, but now compiled together as a 12 LP vinyl box set, Selections from Road Atlas 1998-2011, of similar scarcity.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness