Voices

With poachers now killing almost 11,000 a year for their ivory, urgent steps need to be be taken to stop the cull

Pirate hostages fear they will be killed in days

Couple plead for £4m ransom money to be paid in new video broadcast

Kangalicious: Let your dress do the talking

There are two rules to wearing a kanga: it must be colourful, and it must be inscribed with a proverb. Daniel Howden reports on a garment sweeping the globe

Climate change will melt snows of Kilimanjaro 'within 20 years'

Ice on Africa's highest peak is vanishing at fastest rate for 100 years

Guy Adams: 'The glaciers seemed remote and shrivelled'

According to the guide who took me up Africa's tallest mountain, the name "Kilimanjaro" comes from two words. The first, "Kilima" is Swahili for "hill". The second, "Njaro", can mean "white", or "shiny", or even, depending on both the vigour with which it's pronounced and the imagination of the listener, "shimmering".

Elephant kills BBC crew's guide

A guide has been killed by a charging elephant while helping a film crew to make a BBC children's television programme.

Yacht couple's family issue plea to pirates

Relatives of a British couple thought to have been captured by Somali pirates today pleaded with the captors to end the family's "bad dream".

Pirate hijack couple's family fear 'worst'

Relatives of a British couple whose yacht is thought to have been hijacked by pirates off the east coast of Africa today said they feared the "worst might have happened".

Tanzanian Government likes to keep the facts to itself

It seemed almost too macabre to be true: albinos being hacked to death by alleged witch doctors who wanted their hair and blood as ingredients for potions that, when imbibed, were supposed to bring untold wealth.

Ian Birrell: Britain's tarnished reputation can be salvaged at last

Politicians turned a blind eye, even as they lectured others against corruption

The '£11m Gem of Tanzania' exposed as a £100 fake

It was once thought to be the most valuable jewel of its kind in the world, an enormous uncut ruby worth £11m with a history so murky that one of its former owners declared it to be cursed.

Leading article: A real gem?

You have to give them credit for imagination. The name "The Gem of Tanzania" made it sound like the Koh-e-noor. It's the kind of title that might have been lifted from the pages of King Solomon's Mines. But an even greater stroke of genius by the auditors of Wrekin Construction was in valuing the ruby at £11m. No one would dream of making a fraudulent valuation of that size would they? Well, actually, they would. And it turns out that the Gem of Tanzania is a pretty ordinary piece of crystal, probably worth in the region of £100.

Travel challenge: A family half term safari

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a family safari in October half term. Prices are for two adults and two children under 12 departing on 24 October and include a week's accommodation and flights from Heathrow...

Al-Shymaa Kway-Geer: Death penalty is fitting punishment for cruellest of killers

This was the best judgment we could have hoped for. With this decision, a big lesson has been learnt and a message has been sent out that the people who are killing albinos should be afraid. Now they know the Tanzanian government is serious.

Three sentenced to hang for murder of an African 'ghost'

Landmark ruling in Tanzania offers protection for albinos threatened by trade in 'magical' body parts

Three to hang for Tanzania albino murder

Tanzania's high court today sentenced three men to hang for the murder of a 13-year-old albino boy, killed for his body parts in the country's northwest, local media and a rights group said.

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?