Sahara Desert - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
News A displaced family camp under a tree providing partial shade from the midday sun

Mediators said it was now unclear if South Sudanese rebels would start face-to-face peace talks with the government on Saturday, dampening hopes of a swift end to weeks of ethnic fighting in the world's youngest state.

Saharan dust clouds likely to bring ghoulish weather phenomenon to the UK

Will it rain blood on Halloween? Saharan dust clouds likely to bring ghoulish weather phenomenon to the UK

Warm fronts expected to carry large amounts of red Saharan sand which, as the warm spell turns to rain and possibly even snow at the end of the week, will fall in liquid droplets that look like blood.

Cold Sea Stories, Paweł Huelle, trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones

These short stories are dizzying, beautiful – and occasionally verge on the ridiculous
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who is seen by the West as an ally against al-Qa’ida’s increasing presence in the Sahara, has ruled over a north-west African country that has been largely stable since he seized power in 2008

President on the mend after 'accidental' shooting

The Mauritanian President appeared on television to call for calm yesterday, hours after being shot by soldiers in what he said was an accident.

Our team is a model for other generations,’ say Dominique
(left) and Jean

Tutsis and Hutus unite to bury memory of Rwanda’s civil war

Dominique and Jean bear the scars of a brutal conflict. Then they were enemies. Now they find themselves in the same volleyball team – and a friendship has blossomed

Album: Alhousseini Anivolla, Anewal/The Walking Man (Riverboat Records)

The Tuareg desert rock (not blues, as some have it) of Tinariwen and Etran Finatawa becomes a retrospective affair on this debut by the latter's guitarist.

Daniel Howden: In Nairobi, business is booming in the gleaming new branches of KFC

The city's new plazas are full of South African fast-food outlets copying those in the US

Islamist rebels from Ansar Dine fighting near Timbuktu

Timbuktu begs: save us from al-Qa’ida

Mayor of historic city calls for foreign intervention to help fight militants

Leading article: Ms Gates throws down the gauntlet

The phrase "family planning" has the whiff of a more euphemistic age: in the affluent West, it has become a fact of life both as familiar as brushing one's teeth, and as basic to the health of society. It is hard to imagine how a country like Britain could have coped with the complex challenges of the modern world if families had continued to grow in size, as they did in the 19th century.

Western living 'fuels cancer rates'

Unhealthy Western ways of living are likely to fuel a massive surge in cancer rates around the world, experts have claimed.

After 8,000 miles, Martin the cuckoo is almost home

It's nearly here, the best-loved sound of spring, the double note of the cuckoo: in fact, it's in southern Spain, on the last leg of a 4,000-mile journey from Central Africa.

British Embassy staff quit Mali after coup

Staff are being withdrawn from the British Embassy in Mali in the wake of the military coup.

Britons warned to leave Mali after attempted coup

British citizens have been warned to leave the African state of Mali unless they have "urgent business".

Bear Grylls was recently introduced to David Cameron

Bear Grylls leaves Discovery Channel

Intrepid TV adventurer and Chief Scout Bear Grylls has left the Discovery Channel after a row over "new programming", his publicist said today.

Jerome Taylor: Al-Qa'ida or not, this spread of terror could be disastrous

Violent Islamists have started to use increasingly bold tactics in the north

Jerome Taylor: Largely unnoticed, violent Islamist groups have been looking across the Sahara

Boko Haram's goals are still inherently local, but there are fears that more internationalist groups may seek to link up

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Career Services

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week