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.
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Wednesday 07 December 2011
In a high-stakes court filing, BP has accused Halliburton of destroying evidence that could be used to show it was partially to blame for the notorious Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Tuesday 06 December 2011
BP is accusing Halliburton of destroying damaging evidence about the quality of its cement that went into the Deepwater Horizon well that exploded, killing 11 people and causing America's worst offshore oil spill.
Thursday 01 December 2011
The rapid follow-up to this summer's evocative Dedication is markedly different in intent, a much lighter affair lacking the somewhat sombre, haunted mood of that valedictory album.
Sunday 28 August 2011
On 28 August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the American city of New Orleans with the force of a nuclear explosion.
Saturday 06 August 2011
In a dramatic act of delayed justice, a jury in New Orleans last night delivered guilty verdicts against five former and current officers of the city's police department stemming from the infamous Danziger Bridge shootings that came six days after Hurricane Katrina as well as the elaborate cover-up that followed.
Thursday 28 July 2011
As is the way with R&B royalty, the Soul Queen Of New Orleans is heralded by her band's loosener, a muscular "Superstition" that gets the crowd primed for some fatback funk. But when she is announced, Irma Thomas is nowhere to be seen, her voice appearing to float down from heaven. She finally appears, led gingerly up the steps stage left, microphone in hand, her voice astonishingly clear for one now into her eighth decade.
Friday 08 July 2011
A policeman sprayed gunfire at wounded, unarmed people and repeatedly stamped on a dying man on a bridge in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a court heard.
Friday 03 June 2011
The Louisiana swamp-pop scene is one of the most distinctive local tributaries into the great river of US popular music.
Friday 20 May 2011
Composed as musical accompani-ment for an experimental theatre production based on the works of Sam Shepard, Sounds of the Americans is an understandably patchy, heterogeneous work, with jazz-guitar instrumentals, New Orleans brass band arrangements and a jaunty country number expressing pride in the renovation of a classic American car.
Wednesday 18 May 2011
Cargo was slowly moving along the bloated Mississippi River after a costly daylong standstill, while officials kept an eye on the lower Delta where thousands of acres of farmland could be swamped by water that is inching closer to the top of a levee.
Sunday 15 May 2011
It's all Mrs Hare's fault. When he was a nipper in a comfortable Oxford household, an Eton boy and the youngest son of a GP, Hugh Laurie was told to learn the classical horn. He lasted three weeks. Mrs Hare's efforts to teach him the instrument came to naught. But she did leave one lasting impression on young Laurie: one day, flipping to page 26 in the book of sheet music, she came across "Swanee River". "Negro spiritual, slightly syncopated," she said drily to her pupil.
Tuesday 10 May 2011
Floodgates are opened near to New Orleans to divert record high Mississippi River flow.
Friday 06 May 2011
Usually, actors' albums should be avoided as carefully as pop stars' movies; but Hugh Laurie's New Orleans tribute Let Them Talk may be the exception that proves the rule.
Thursday 31 March 2011
He spent 18 years in a Louisiana prison for a murder he did not commit, coming within weeks of being executed. Yet the US Supreme Court has thrown out a jury verdict awarding John Thompson $14m (£8.75m) in compensation.
Friday 04 March 2011
For this latest of their collaborations, producer Hal Willner has surrounded Marianne Faithfull with some great New Orleans musicians, and got her covering a few Crescent City soul numbers. But it's not territory she occupies comfortably: she doesn't have the abandon to animate Joe & Ann's "Gee Baby", and her delivery of Allen Toussaint's "Back in Baby's Arms" is painfully stilted. She's much better reciting the Shangri-Las' "Past, Present and Future" over a melodramatic arrangement of harp, strings and woodwind, and her "Goin' Back" has an arthritic grace that suits the song well. Of her own material, the title-track comprises observations from her Irish and Parisian homes, while "Eternity" finds her trying to "live within the space that's moving all the time... touching the divine", over a blend of Doobie-esque rhythm guitar and sampled Jojouka reeds.
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