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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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us