Mike Collett White

The great SLAUGHTER debate

Fred Khumalo suggests that the media might be overreacting in its reports on ritual slaughter in historically white suburbs. On the other hand, the press coverage is fuelling much-needed debate on our cultural identities.

Tolkien novel published 34 years after his death

More than 30 years after his death, a ''new'' book by JRR Tolkien goes on sale on Tuesday which may well be the author's last complete work to be published posthumously. Tolkien's son and literary executor Christopher, now in his eighties, constructed The Children of Hurin from his father's manuscripts.

Boo-ing Zulu taboos

Fred Khumalo wonders whether the Zulu language will ever lose its inhibitions.

The Queen takes on Bond at British film awards

James Bond will take on Her Majesty at the British film awards, with Casino Royale garnering nine Bafta nominations on Friday, just one behind frontrunner The Queen. Stephen Frears was on the best director shortlist for The Queen, and Helen Mirren, an Oscar favourite in the leading role, was a best actress nominee for her portrayal of a confused monarch.

Venice film awards leave critics perplexed, vexed

The jury at the Venice Film Festival left critics and journalists perplexed and in some cases vexed when it awarded top prize to China's Still Life. Jia Zhang-Ke's picture, about two people searching for their partners as villages and towns are submerged by the giant Three Gorges Dam project in China, was introduced as a surprise entry.

Cynics mock, charities defend stars aiding Africa

Madonna feels responsible for the children of the world and has found herself a ''big, big project'' to help orphans in Malawi. Gwyneth Paltrow declares ''I am African'' in a new advertisement for a charity working in Africa. The continent has long been a favourite destination for celebrity campaigners, going back to 1954 when Danny Kaye became Unicef's goodwill ambassador.

Top of the Pops loses battle against internet

Music television is the endangered species of the pop world, and is learning the hard way that it must adapt to the internet age, or die. Britain's Top of the Pops, the world's longest-running weekly music show, will be declared extinct on Sunday when it is broadcast for the last time on BBC.

World’s auction houses cash in on art market boom

The world's largest auction houses have seen sales surge in the first half of the year, boosted by record prices for rare paintings and increased interest from buyers in emerging markets like China and Russia. Privately-held Christie's said on Monday it earned a record £1,2-billion (,1-billion) in worldwide sales in the first six months of the year.

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