The United States has done it. The Philippines and China too. Even Hong Kong has said it will destroy some of its contraband ivory. But ahead of a conservation conference in London next month where world leaders will descend to seek a solution to wildlife crime, the debate about the future of stockpiles is set to heat up.

The African wild: No distractions, just splendid isolation

To experience the wilds of Africa, you need to forget the outside world for a while. Adrian Mourby travels to two new retreats in Zambia and Malawi

Zambian leader dies after stroke

The Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, right, died in a French hospital yesterday after suffering a stroke several weeks ago, Vice-President Rupiah Banda said.

Levy Mwanawasa: President of Zambia who fought against corruption and was a fierce and vocal critic of Robert Mugabe

Levy Mwanawasa, President of Zambia since 2002, was part of a new generation of African leaders whose formative years were not spent fighting for liberation. Zambia won independence from Britain in 1964 when Mwanawasa was just 15, and his early career was instead taken up with the battle against corruption.

Reports of Zambian President's death prove to be exaggerated

The South African President had the unusual duty yesterday of mourning the death of the President of Zambia with a minute's silence, then hours later wising him a speedy recovery.

Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangirai takes refuge in Dutch embassy

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has pulled out of a presidential election because of violence, sought refuge overnight in the Dutch embassy, officials of that country have said.

Unity government talks offer hope to Zimbabwe

Emergency talks have begun between the Zimbabwean government and opposition, suggesting that leading figures on both sides may be ready to accept that the presidential run-off on 27 June cannot bring peace to the country.

Mbeki urged to quit as mediator

No members of Zimbabwe's opposition met with visiting South African President Thabo Mbeki, who they say should be replaced as mediator in the country's political crisis.

The Eye of the Leopard, By Henning Mankell, trans. Steven T Murray

A dark heartland where moral bankruptcy props up a currency of corruption

Zimbabwe opposition to fight ballot recount

Zimbabwe's opposition, frustrated by the failure of a regional summit to help its cause, has vowed to fight President Robert Mugabe's plans to hold recounts in nearly two dozen constituencies in what appears to be his latest attempt to reverse his government's defeat in parliamentary elections.

Zimbabwe 'to stage recount'

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it will conduct a full recount of the presidential and parliamentary voting on April 19, the Zimbabwean state-run Sunday Mail newspaper reports.

Exclusive: Mugabe prepares for war

Zimbabwe's leader defies the world to send in new wave of thugs

Zimbabwe's opposition refuses to take part in presidential run-off with Mugabe

Zimbabwe's future looks increasingly perilous after the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change ruled out participating in a run-off election, saying the party had won the presidential election outright in the first round.

Diary of a Primary School Mum: 'The pièce de résistance was an African xylophone'

"Mummy," asks Claire, "is this how we should hold scissors to be safe?" "Yes, darling," I concur, without even a cursory glance. Suddenly, guilt seeps in – scissors are a dangerous weapon – and I look up from the newspaper to find Claire walking around, little fist clamping the blades tight shut. "Oh no," I say, running over, "I think maybe this would be a better way to hold them." I move her fingers to the handles, sharp edges pointing downwards. Claire looks at me as if I am insane and switches her grip straight back. "Miss Perry says that you should do it like this and she should know. She's a teacher."

Something To Declare: Fingerprinting, Moscow, Zambia

Warning of the week: prepare to be fingerprinted

Food of the Week: Eating on the move

Dine in transit and you can sate your appetite and see the sights at the same time.

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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

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Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

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