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
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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