Arts and Entertainment Jared Leto in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

When will TV and film start opening the door to transgender actors, asks Paris Lees

The moai, giant stone statues that line the Easter Island coast

This week's big questions: Can ancient tribes teach us anything? Are we doomed, like Easter Islanders, to extinction?

This week's questions are answered by Jared Diamond, an American scientist and the author of the bestselling ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel

Spencer Cox: Activist who helped bring an anti-Aids drug on to the market

Spencer Cox, who died in New York of Aids-related causes on 18 December aged 44, was an Aids activist who helped form an organisation to boost treatment research and recently appeared in a documentary about an Aids coalition.

Kenneth Kendall: Much-loved newsreader who became the first to be seen on screen

When, on 4 September 1955, Kenneth Kendall became the first newscaster to appear on a British television screen in the flesh, it was the culmination of years of debate at the BBC – at first over whether it was right to broadcast news on television at all, and then whether images of any kind might distort the message.

Martin Richards: Producer

Martin Richards, who died of cancer on 26 November at the age of 80, was the producer of the original Chicago on Broadway and went on to win an Academy Award for producing the film version. He was also the Tony Award-winning producer behind such Broadway hits as Sweeney Todd and The Will Rogers Follies. His other films included The Shining, Boys From Brazil and Fort Apache, The Bronx.

Anne Hathaway has tried extreme – and extremely unpleasant – eating regimes to lose weight for a part

Hollywood roles to diet for

If you find it hard to lose weight, be glad you're not an actor. Playing an emaciated waif can mean mad, bad and dangerous eating plans, says Gillian Orr

Books of the Year 2012: Celebrity

From art to sport, poetry to nature, travel to food, history to music: our writers select the best of the year’s books in a comprehensive guide to the highlights in every shade of the literary spectrum – except grey

World AIDS Day: Health problems do not discriminate based on where people live

It's not just low income countries that have a problem.

Editorial: Aids treatment is a success story, but more must be done

In 2000, a year's course of anti-retroviral drugs cost $10,000 and projections caused consternation even in Western countries coping with a few thousand cases of HIV. The idea that treatment might be rolled out to millions in the developing world seemed a pipe dream.

Elderly women in Kasarika, a village with one of the highest rates of HIV in Malawi

World Aids Day: The curse of being one of the witches of Malawi

An Aids awareness scheme is teaching villagers HIV is an illness, and not caused by witchcraft. By Hazel Southam in Kasarika

A torch light rally is held in Kolkata yesterday ahead of World Aids Day

World Aids Day: ‘Turning the tide will fail if funding is not increased’

Three decades on from the start of the Aids pandemic, the main global agencies are uncertain whether to be cheerful or gloomy about prospects for the worst disease of modern times .

Patient co-ordinator Chris is one of the longest living survivors of HIV in Britain

World Aids Day: Suddenly I had a future, the relief was immense

Patient co-ordinator Chris is one of the longest living survivors of HIV in Britain. He speaks to Patrick Strudwick

World AIDS Day: A race against time as HIV treatment is cut

Anti-retrovirals are vital in improving and saving the lives of children with HIV.

The Vivisector: Group show curated by Todd Levin, Sprüth Magers, London

A naked doll with long synthetic hair greets the visitor to this inspired exhibition, which explores "the idea of opening up and exposing a living body".

HIV is still a red-hot issue in the UK

The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the National Aids Trust (NAT), the UK's leading charity dedicated to transforming society's response to HIV. In honour of the occasion, a number of NAT's high-profile supporters have created exclusive pieces of red-ribbon art.

Inquires into Yasser Arafat's death will lead to the exhumation of his body on late November

Arafat's remains to be exhumed in Ramallah on Tuesday

The remains of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed on Tuesday as part of a renewed investigation into his death, a Palestinian investigator said.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future