Rio tries to contain slums with concrete

Mayor builds seven-mile network of 10ft walls 'to protect the rainforest'

Tom Sutcliffe: Secrecy on pay can keep salaries down

Here’s a simple question: is the public disclosure of top salaries more likely to drive prices up or down? I assume that senior staff at the Information Commissioner’s Office (salaries on application) must have asked themselves the same thing before issuing new guidelines about transparency on the amount of public money that goes into private pockets ... and presumably their broad assumption was that this measure would be most likely to save public money in the long run.

Britons held hostage in Rio

Two British tourists have told how they were held hostage in Brazil by robbers armed with guns and grenades.

Architect, 101, denied chance to add final flourish to city he created

It is probable that at 101 years old, Oscar Niemeyer, the guru of modernist architecture whose greatest project was the city of Brasilia, is old enough to withstand disappointment, even as large as the one he has just suffered. He thought he was on course to adorn the city’s skyline with one last flourish. But now, suddenly, he isn’t.

DVD: Elite Squad, Retail & Rental, (Optimum)

While 'City of God' explored the gangs of Rio de Janeiro, 'Elite Squad' plunges into the corruption-clogged heart of its police force.

Album: Binario, Binario, (Far Out)

Imagine the cheek of it! A band from Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro who prefer post-rock and wobbly psychedelia to the sand-between-the-toes sound of bossa nova or bottom-wiggling samba.

Simon Calder: A New Romantic rendezvous in Rio de Janeiro

Travelling in South America comprises a grand tour through improbability. Uncertainty can beset the traveller immediately on arrival: forget the usual red channel/green channel arrangements, because in some countries it is usual at Customs to assess whether inbound passengers have something to declare on an entirely arbitrary basis.

Golding holds steady behind leaders

As Jean-Pierre Dick continued his charge at the front of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race, with Roland Jourdain and Sebastien Josse disputing second place, Britain's Mike Golding was playing steady as she goes in fifth place, less than 100 miles behind.

Pirate warning as world race nears start

Fewer icebergs but more pirates will keep hazard levels as high as ever as the eight-boat Volvo fleet leaves Alicante on Saturday for its first, 6,500-mile ocean leg of a round the world race that covers 37,000 miles and ends over eight months later in glittering St Petersburg.

Dorival Caymmi: Leading figure in Brazilian song

In February 1939 a young, unknown singer-songwriter got the most fabulous break of his life by recording a duet of his swinging samba "O Que É Que A Bahiana Tem?" ("What is it about Bahian Women?") with Brazil's biggest ever vocal star. The song became one of Carmen Miranda's signature pieces just before she took Hollywood by storm, and launched Dorival Caymmi as a leading figure in Brazilian song.

A Fighter's Heart, By Sam Sheridan

A sports writer boxes clever in his attempt to understand the longstanding appeal of combat sports

Campbell to face charges over Heathrow bag row

The supermodel Naomi Campbell is to be charged over an alleged air rage incident at Heathrow last month. She was hauled off a British Airways plane in handcuffs after apparently reacting badly to news that one of her bags had been lost amid chaos at the recently opened Terminal 5.

Ghetto fabulous: Why Seu Jorge will never forget life (and death) in the favela

Jorge Mário da Silva doesn't do mornings. And though it's 3pm in São Paulo, the Brazilian actor and musician – otherwise known as Seu Jorge ("Mr Jorge") – is only just coming round. But between yawns, he's enthusing about his forthcoming trip to London. "I love playing abroad," he says. "I've got lots of friends in London. Also, the shows are earlier over there. I played in Rio last week and I got on stage at one in the morning!"

Rio Carnival rated best festival for travellers of an independent mind

Ever since its explosive inception in the mid-19th century, one public spectacle has captured the world's imagination more than any other by virtue of its noisy flamboyance and lavish, unashamed sensuality.

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?