Arts and Entertainment

Still follows previous teaser pics

Use lynx to cull deer, says top ecologist

Britain's big cat may be reintroduced to help balance nature, 500 years after being hunted to extinction here

Smoked venison with walnut pesto

Serves 4

Public Dream by Frances Leviston

"Humbles", the visceral opener to Frances Leviston's debut collection, recalls masterpieces by Robin Robertson and William Stafford. That it survives such comparisons is evidence of how good a writer Leviston already is. Beginning with a deer killed on the road and closing with an eviscerated Judas hanging from a tree but "tethered to earth/ by all the ropes and anchors of his life", "Humbles" has no rival in the rest of Public Dream, which is a fine book nonetheless, mature and coherent.

Oathbreaker, By Michelle Paver

Spirit-walk with Torak and his clansmen into a world of ancient magic

Deer Hunting With Jesus, By Joe Bageant

If you fell within the category of people who are the focus of this impassioned polemic, subtitled "Guns, Votes, Debt and Delusion in Redneck America", then you would not be reading these words, for 89-94 million members of the US adult population are "functionally illiterate". Joe Bageant exposes the vast social gulf in America, and how the poor are exploited and betrayed by those for whom they work and vote: big business and government.

Secret Britain (part 1): 50 little-known coasts, woodlands and gardens

David Randall starts where the guidebooks stop. This week, he reveals 50 little-known coasts, woodlands and gardens where you can spend hours walking and discovering hidden delights

The Big Chill, Eastnor Castle, Deer Park, Malvern

Grown-up ravers feel the sunshine in Malvern Hills

The killing fields: Europe's hunting season begins

As Brad and Angelina have discovered to their cost, Europe's hills and forests will soon be echoing to the sound of gunfire, as hunting season begins. John Walsh takes aim

Album: Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (4AD)

Dissillusioned with life, love and the break up of his band, at the end of 2006 Justin Vernon went to "hibernate" in a log cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. He chopped wood, he hunted and ate deer and he recorded 'For Emma, Forever Ago', a sort of musical version of Henry David Thoreau's 'Walden'.

Preview: The Big Chill, Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Ledbury

Cohen will be king of the castle

Antlers act as hearing aids

A moose's antlers may act as large hearing aids, scientists believe. The large flat antlers of male moose could boost their hearing by almost a fifth, the researchers George and Peter Bubenik suggested.

Diary of a Primary School Mum: 'The key to a good school? It starts with "p"...'

Gordon Brown, take note! The winning formula that could take British schools not only to the top of Europe's league tables, but could even conquer the world, is this: GT + GP squared = GS. Alas, GT does not stand for gin and tonic. It stands (no surprises here) for good teachers. The "p" word, though, is as pivotal to a school's success as eggs are to an omelette. P stands for "parents" and the recent annual general meeting at the twins' local primary made me realise the true import of their input.

El Tanbura, LSO St Luke's, London <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

The simsimiyya lyre, which dates from Phoenician times, sounds a bit like the kanun zither, only more ethereal; as the "star" of El Tanbura, and played with agile grace, it's the first thing we hear when this Port Said group takes the stage. A ney flute breathily joins it in a duet with a gently insistent pulse; then a man adds his voice, melismatically interweaving his melody with that of the flute, while the lyre provides a warm bed of sound. Then other men join in, singing a grave poem in unison while two begin to sway hypnotically; when the percussion finally booms in, it's as though a huge machine is on the move. The momentum is peaceful, not somnolent but superalert: thus do the Sufis on Egypt's northern seaboard communicate with God.

PokerStars defies US ban and risks RBS withdrawal

PokerStars, the world's second-biggest internet poker company after PartyGaming, is to carry on with business as usual despite the United States Congress's decision to outlaw internet gaming across the country.

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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

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The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

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Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

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Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

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Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

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Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

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Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

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