News

A car bomb has exploded in the Malian town of Kidal, killing at least two UN peacekeepers.

Gueye has Blackburn trial

Metz are awaiting news from Blackburn after striker Babacar Gueye joined Rovers for a trial, according to the French club's sporting director Joel Muller.

African cinema: The fight is not over

From Tarzan to Blood Diamond, Hollywood's view of the continent has been slanted for white audiences. Thankfully, African directors have been making passionate and truthful movies of their own, says Keith Shiri

Sheffield's documentary festival: Reflections in a dark mirror

If you can't afford a ticket to ride around the world, there is another way. You can tour the craters of Baghdad, the swelling skylines of China, and the mud villages of Senegal from a cinema seat at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

Scabble-mad Senegalese score low on home ground

For a country that made Scrabble a "national priority", hosting this year's French-speaking world championship should have been Senegal's crowning moment. After taking three of the four titles up for grabs in Canada last year, Senegal – despite a national literacy rate of just 40 per cent – were the team to beat. Now it is going horribly wrong.

The tree of life (and its super fruit)

The medicinal properties of the baobab fruit are the stuff of African legend. Claire Soares says it also tastes great and, thanks to an EU ruling, we will all be able to try some soon

The Visitor (15)

Veteran character actor Richard Jenkins is excellent in The Visitor, playing a subtler version of the embittered academic we've seen in Smart People, The Squid and the Whale, and every other recent indie dramedy.

Evra extends United deal

Patrice Evra has signed a four-year contract extension at Manchester United.

Meet the fugitive from lion country

Wasis Diop grew up to roars in the night. The musical maverick tells nick hasted he'd have been 'eaten' had he stayed

Album: El Hadj N'Diaye, Geej (Marabi)

This Senegalese guitarist's finger-picking has the delicacy and refinement of Segovia, and his voice is infinitely subtle, painlessly getting his messages across.

Zimbabwe opposition disputes official poll results

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won 47.9 percent of the vote in Zimbabwe's presidential elections, elections officials said Friday — not enough to avoid a runoff against President Robert Mugabe.

Beye adds touch of Shankly to Newcastle

The steely determination of Habib Beye has echoes of the late Bill Shankly's approach towards the game according to Newcastle United's manager, Kevin Keegan.

Youssou N'Dour, IndigO2, London

Along with Baaba Maal, N'Dour is probably Senegal's biggest star, but one who has re-invested his success in the local music industry. With his own label, studio, radio station and club in Dakar, he has become part of the establishment of modern African music.

Youssou N'Dour proclaims his roots

The African hero is back with an infectious album that revels in the musical exchanges between Africa, Cuba and the blues. In London for a gig next month, he talks to Nick Duerden

Africa Express, Olympia, Liverpool

A vibrant celebration of African music on the Mersey

Friends, Senegalese, countrymen! Lend us your luxury homes

Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade has asked citizens with luxury homes to make them available to the state as it scrambles to accommodate thousands of delegates expected for an Islamic summit next month.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'