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.

Oil rig explodes off US Gulf coast

A mile-long oil sheen spread from an offshore oil platform burning in the Gulf of Mexico today.

Obama joins New Orleans to remember Katrina’s victims

Barack Obama flew in to New Orleans to promise that the federal government would continue to help the city back on to its feet, after the twin ravages of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

American graffiti: How New Orleans' residents used spray paint to voice their feelings about Hurricane Katrina

After Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans five years ago, photographer Richard Misrach toured the city to catalogue its residents' reactions, graffitied on cars, trees – anything, in fact, that hadn't blown away

The renaissance of New Orleans

Five years after the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, the Big Easy is enjoying a cultural boom thanks to an influx of creative young talent from across the US

Ain't no city like New Orleans

Music is helping to revive the fortunes of this town five years after Hurricane Katrina. Richard Holledge reports

Voices from the Storm, Compiled by Lola Vollen and Chris Ying

Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana on 29 August 2005, devastating New Orleans. The Bush administration's woefully inadequate response and the chaos that ensued revealed a hidden America – one of poverty and injustice. Lola Vollen and Chris Ying report that when Katrina hit New Orleans, 67 per cent of its population were African-American and 22 per cent were living below the poverty line.

Hurricane Katrina: The storm that shamed America

It tarnished one president's tenure, left a million people homeless and exposed the racial disharmony at the heart of US society. Five years on from Hurricane Katrina, the brutal effects are still being felt, writes Rupert Cornwell

Gulf of Mexico spill has dissipated

The oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which threatened beaches and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, has largely vanished just two weeks after the crippled BP oil well was finally capped.

Hugh Laurie to sing the blues

Hugh Laurie, better known for his acting roles in television programmes including Blackadder and House, is now turning his hand to a different trade by starting work on his debut album.

Katrina: The crime that shocked the world

On 4 September 2005, New Orleans police opened fire on desperate survivors of the hurricane. Two people were killed and others were injured. Now, five years later, and after a shameful cover-up, four men are finally about to stand trial

The mayor who vowed to end city's 'culture of death'

Three days after taking office in May, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced he was replacing the chief of the city's corrupt and widely distrusted police force. His intention, he said, was to "transform the culture of death on the streets of New Orleans into a celebration of life".

Top New Orleans restaurateur sues BP over loss of seafood

Susan Spicer, one of New Orleans's most prominent and highly regarded chefs, has sued BP for damages to restaurants that have lost normal seafood supplies because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Failing schools 'should be closed and pupils moved elsewhere'

Children in failing schools would do better if the schools were closed and their pupils moved elsewhere, research suggests.

George Webb: Pianist whose work inspired the trad-jazz boom of the 1950s

The music that the pianist George Webb played in London in 1941 with his first band, Spider Webb and His Cobs, was the first "English" New Orleans-style jazz ever played in this country.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
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