News

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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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born