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.

American Football: Saints hope 'Breesus' can bring deliverance to New Orleans

Four years on from Hurricane Katrina, the city is counting on a star quarterback to inspire their NFL team to their first ever Super Bowl

Hurricane Katrina: It was not an act of God

Judge's ruling that negligence led to flooding may lead to a huge government payout

Architecting, The Pit, Barbican, London

Awakened by an American dream

Mississippi turning: A river with a life of its own

It is a river with a life of its own and attempts to domesticate it for the good of industry have so far failed. Now, says Daniel Howden, the stakes are higher than ever

Observations: New play aims to take audiences on a journey through the heart of New Orleans

It is 40 degrees in New Orleans and the air is like steam. The young woman dodging debris on what was once her street is on the brink of tears. "How can it be?" she gulps. "Supposedly the richest country in the world, where we can be in Sri Lanka after the tsunami in less than 48 hours, yet the government could not make it to New Orleans in a week?" Her question encapsulates the tragedy of the city, while its implications have yet to register with those in power.

Album: John Patitucci Trio, Remembrance, (Universal)

While you can argue about fidelity to the big idea – 11 tunes conceived as tributes to musicians from the past – and, indeed, the point of that idea in the first place, bassist John Patitucci's trio partners of saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Brian Blade play so well that the whole thing works anyway.

Album: Levon Helm, Electric Dirt (Vanguard)

On his 2007 comeback album, Dirt Farmer, Levon Helm's distinctive weather-beaten vocal tones animated the plight of the rural underclass as vividly as any documentary.

Sam Butera: Saxophonist and entertainer who found fame as Louis Prima's 'Big Horn'

The Las Vegas entertainer, Louis Prima referred to Sam Butera as "The Big Horn". For 20 years, the tenor saxophonist led the Witnesses, who accompanied Prima and his wives, Keely Smith and Gia Maione, and wrote most of the arrangements. After Prima's death in 1978, he continued as a lounge act, often working with Smith.

Tyre fire forces plane's emergency evacuation

Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight were forced to slide down emergency chutes after a tyre caught fire as the plane landed in Houston.

Snooks Eaglin: New Orleans guitarist and singer known as 'the human jukebox'

The New Orleans guitarist and singer Snooks Eaglin displayed a breathtaking dexterity, combined with an amazing ability to remember over 2,000 tunes that earned him the nickname "the human jukebox". This endeared him both to local audiences in the Crescent City and to many of the rock musicians visiting the area; Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt and Robert Plant admired his inimitable playing style and sought him out.

US Navy vessels collide in Strait of Hormuz

Two US Navy vessels - a nuclear-powered submarine and an amphibious ship - collided today in the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and the Arabian peninsula, the US Navy's 5th Fleet reported.

Album: Nathan Davis, If (Soul Jazz)

It's funny how some names slip through history's net. Following his army service, Kansas City saxophonist Davis spent the Sixties in Paris, leading bands, studying ethno-musicology and turning down contracts with Art Blakey and Blue Note Records, before returning to the US to teach. This 1976 quintet session shows off his funky, spiritual chops on alto, soprano and flute in original tunes evoking Bahia, Africa, New Orleans and Cannonball Adderley. It's great.

Seven hurt in Mardi Gras shootings

A Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans erupted into chaos on Fat Tuesday when a series of gunshots struck seven people, including a toddler.

Album: Courtney Pine, Transition in Tradition, (Destin-e)

Star saxophonist Courtney Pine returns to something close to the top of his form with a swaggering affirmation of his new “Afropean” identity.

Restaurants 'put diners' health at risk'

Some meals at restaurant chains are so salty they put diners' health at risk, a survey shows. Of 47 main courses, three-quarters had more than 3g of salt and seven had more than the 6g recommended daily limit for an adult set by the Food Standard Agency. Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), which did the survey, found the saltiest dishes at Old Orleans, Pizza Express and Wagamama.

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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones