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Apple's disappointing update this week sent shares in most of its suppliers tumbling, but smartphone parts maker Laird got City approval after its strategy update yesterday.

The supermodel, the dictator and the blood diamond at midnight

Naomi Campbell, Mia Farrow and Nelson Mandela in a tale of midnight assignations and blood diamonds delivered at bedroom doorways. The latest fantastical Hollywood screenplay? No, it's the latest twist in the bid to bring the west African dictator Charles Taylor to justice for war crimes.

Alex James: No longer any need to emigrate to Provence

Rural Notebook

Wartime loves and betrayals: Aminatta Forna's new novel casts a fresh light on old war wounds

There is every reason a visitor ringing Aminatta Forna's doorbell might expect to hear the tocsin sound of dogs barking in the background as she treads towards the door. She has spoken of her two beloved lurchers in past interviews and recently wrote a moving Granta essay about stray dogs in Sierra Leone - where she was partly raised – in which she described how the sliding scale of humanity towards these lost, bedraggled beasts was symptomatic of kinship during social unrest. "In a time of lies," she added, in reference to the country's near decade-long civil war, begun in 1991, "I found honesty and loyalty among the dogs."

Granta 109: Work

This number of Granta will repay a little effort with a rich reward of memorable pieces about jobs that stretch the meaning of "work" beyond all usual boundaries.

Guides give hope to child soldiers and prostitutes

The guiding movement is seen as innocuous fun in Britain, but across the world it can change the lives of traumatised teenagers

Granta 109: Work, ed John Freeman

"Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness," wrote Sigmund Freud, but it is love that garners more pages of literature. This wonderful anthology, exploring how work might endow or deprecate our self-worth, does much to reassert the balance, however. The collection spans the globe, describing a vast array of working lives in Kenya, China, Rwanda, Peru, Sierra Leone, Dublin, Johannesburg and Essex – the latter in Sir Peter Stothard's poignant conjuring of his childhood in the Marconi work village.

Help stop 500,000 women dying in childbirth this year

With over 500,000 women around the world expected to die from complications with pregnancy this year, Britons are being urged to raise money to save their lives.

Yvonne Roberts: If only we can teach resilience to those who need it

What white working class communities lack is that capacity to bounce back

Leading article: Less war, more peace

It is hard to escape the impression that Britain's major political parties are coming over all pacifist – or at least are going into the election rather less enthusiastic about military intervention than they once were.

UK should stop policing the world, says Howells

Britain should give up trying to punch above its weight internationally and stop routinely deploying troops to world trouble spots, the chairman of the parliamentary committee that oversees the intelligence services said yesterday.

Ed Murray: 'How I started a microbrewery'

Ed Murray always enjoyed making beer. But when the former management consultant decided to do it for a living he found out just how much finesse goes into artisan ale.

Woman fights ban on becoming chief

A woman in Sierra Leone barred from running for chief of her district because of her gender has appealed for a new election and a place on the ballot.

UK army head still fighting for the victims in Sierra Leone

The civil war in Sierra Leone became a byword for savagery. Marauding militias, often using child soldiers, killed and raped across the land. The country’s natural riches turned to a curse, with predators, both domestic and foreign, engaged in a fierce struggle to control mines producing the highly lucrative “blood diamonds”.

Small Talk: London Mining succeeds in joining alternative big boys

We may still be in recession, but those that say the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) is coming back to life can point to the listing on Friday of London Mining to further strengthen their case.

Johnny Mad Dog, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, 97 mins, (15)

The terrifying childishness of war emerges in this unflinching account of an unnamed civil conflict
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas