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.

Treme, Sky Atlantic, Friday<br/>The Model Agency, Channel 4, Wednesday

Musical ducking and diving in the heart of New Orleans should have been action-packed, but it takes a model agency to make things happen too fast

Leading article: Exodus from a neglected American city

The latest census data about New Orleans confirm what has long been known, that the post-Katrina city is whiter – and therefore richer – but, above all, much smaller than before the storm. The population as recorded by the previous census in 2000 was more than 484,000.

Census reveals devastating effect of Katrina on New Orleans

The city's population has plummeted and is whiter, according to long-awaited figures

Album: Neville Brothers, Authorized Bootleg: Warfield Theatre San Francisco (Hip-O Select/A&amp;M)

The Neville Brothers were once one of the best live bands in America.

Leading article: Our untamed planet

By this morning the scale of the inundation in Australia's third largest city will be clear. So, too – in initial outline, at least – will be the success of the authorities in convincing people to evacuate and limiting the damage. But yesterday's juxtaposition of the bright blue Brisbane sky and the knowledge that the floodwaters were approaching inexorably by the hour only underlined how fragile even a major city in an advanced country remains when pitted against the mighty forces of nature.

Album: Neville Brothers, Authorized Bootleg (A&amp;M)

Remember bootleg LPs? Whatever the reason, A&M has decided to grant a rather belated official release to this two-hour concert recording from San Francisco in 1989, around the time of Yellow Moon.

Monty Sunshine: Clarinettist in the vanguard of the trad-jazz boom of the 1950s and early 1960s

Monty Sunshine, the clarinettist on the million-selling "Petite Fleur", was at the forefront of the traditional jazz boom in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He had a delightful stage presence and remained modest. "How can any jazz musician get conceited?" he once asked me, "He only has to put on the records of the great masters to wake up to his true status."

Cheerleader ordered to applaud player who sexually assaulted her

A teenage cheerleader who was sexually assaulted by a star player from her school's basketball team is to appeal after a court ruled she had no right to refuse to applaud her attacker during subsequent matches. The girl, known as HS, is suing Silsbee High School in Texas for expelling her from the cheerleading squad after she told coaches she was not prepared to shake her pom-poms in support of her attacker, Rakheem Bolton. Three judges at the Fifth US Court of Appeals in New Orleans said her constitutional rights had not been violated and ordered her to pay the school's legal costs.

Album: Various artists, New Orleans Funk Experience (Nascente)

This good-value-for-a-fiver compilation favours entertaining obscurities and the odd hoary old standard (Huey Smith's "Don't You Just Know It") over the usual Crescent City suspects.

48 Hours In: New Orleans

The most charismatic city in the US is back in business, delivering great food, architecture and music. Samantha Cook is your guide

The lampshade that drives its owners mad: Strange truth behind 20th century's most disturbing object

Looted from an abandoned house, sold as junk for $35 &ndash; and finally mailed to the American author Mark Jacobson by a man who couldn't wait to get rid of it. It is the lampshade that drives its owners mad &ndash; but what is its macabre secret? Robert Chalmers investigates

Album: Eric Clapton, Clapton (Reprise)

Eric Clapton's last couple of albums have been collaborations, with J J Cale and Steve Winwood respectively, and it's fair to say that the success of Clapton derives in part from the extension of that collaborative spirit into the solo arena.

Album: Ben Folds/ Nick Hornby, Lonely Avenue, Nonesuch

The first of what one hopes will be many collaborations between Ben Folds and Nick Hornby proves to be an intelligent, sometimes amusing, sometimes moving, but always engaging collection of songs, pitched somewhere between Randy Newman and an Anglo-American Divine Comedy.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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

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

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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

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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

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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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