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.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
News
The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
people
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect