Boko Haram has fought against the government since 2009, demanding Sharia law

Nigerian troops begin biggest ever assault on Islamist sect

Fighter aircraft join renewed offensive against militant group in Borno state

Nigerian troops sent to border areas to fight militants

Nigeria has launched a military campaign to flush Islamist militants out of their bases in remote border areas, after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the north-east.

Deals of the week - Bruges, Skiathos, Cape Verde

Less than £200... For £199pp, Cresta Holidays is offering a three-night jaunt to Bruges this summer. The package includes accommodation at the Flanders Hotel in the heart of the city with breakfast and return Eurostar from London St Pancras on 19 August. Crestaholidays.co.uk

African charm offensive led by Umunna

Britain risks missing out on the "huge opportunities" in Africa because they are focusing too much on the Bric economies, Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Staring role: Simon Russell Beale and John Simm in 'The Hothouse'

Theatre review: The Hothouse, Trafalgar Studios, London

Simon Russell Beale has transformed himself into a manic version of Ronnie Barker in this merciless, very funny revival of Harold Pinter’s second major stage play, one he wrote and discarded between The Birthday Party and The Caretaker, before directing it himself in 1980.

55 dead after suspected raid in Nigeria by Islamist sect Boko Haram

The Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram is thought to have been behind a deadly siege on the northeastern town of Bama on Tuesday that left 55 people dead.

Paa Joe stands beside one of his fantasy coffins in the shape of a lion

Fantasy coffins: Meet the man who puts the 'fun' into funereal

Fancy laying your head down one last time in a Coca-Cola bottle? Or an aeroplane? You name it you can be buried in it, says Paul Bignell

Nigerian police on patrol in Bauchi

Voices in Danger: Nigeria - One man pays the ultimate price for reporting on the frontline between the military and extremists

Journalist Enenche Akogwu was killed while filming the aftermath of a suicide bombing. His best friend describes the events and the dangers of being a Nigerian journalist.

A young girl stands amid the burned ruins of Baga, Nigeria

Voices in Danger: Nigeria added to list of most dangerous countries for journalists

Nigeria has been added to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists' annual list of most dangerous countries

Nigeria joins journalist danger list on World Press Freedom day

Nigeria today joined the list of countries where journalists are routinely murdered and assaulted without any convictions for their attackers.

Nigerian civilians targeted in military raid

Witnesses in a northeast Nigeria village where officials say at least 187 people were killed in an assault by the military and Islamic extremists said soldiers purposefully set fire to civilian homes, directly contradicting the government’s claims.

Postcard from... Lecce

It’s not easy for professional football players to acquire a reputation for being more stupid or badly behaved than common opinion already holds.

Artwork from the Brain Activity by David Shrigley at Hayward Gallery

Michael Glover: Let’s hope the Turner Prize judges can stop giggling

Shall we agree to agree that art’s pretty lightweight when all’s said and done? That it’s jokey fluff and flummery for the most part? Life’s certainly a fun house over at the Turner Prize this year.

Boko Haram releases hostage family unharmed

A French family, – including four young children – taken hostage on the Cameroon-Nigeria border two months ago, has been released unharmed.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform