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.

Bad Lieutenant (18)

Cage free to be wild at heart
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Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
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As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

Life and Style
food and drink

Savoury patisserie is a thing now

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Meet the primary school where every day is National Poetry Day

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people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
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newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
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people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

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In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
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The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

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people
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Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
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Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?