Sport Rory McIlroy with Tiger Woods in Dubai

The Northern Irishman struck a 63 in the opening round to put him nine under par

Mark Cavendish (right) with Sky team-mate Bernie Eisel in Doha

Cycling: Cavendish survives desert fever

A widely hoped-for debut victory for his new squad, Sky, in 2012 could probably not have been further from Mark Cavendish's mind during yesterday's stage of the Tour of Qatar, with the reigning world champion still suffering badly from the after-effects of a fever-inducing bug caught during his flight out to the Middle East.

Joel Sternfeld's Glen Canyon Dam, Page, Arizona, August 1983

Road trip: Joel Sternfeld's Arizona

Drive past grand dams and the Grand Canyon – in the tyre tracks of a king of colour photography.

The Moonlite Bunny Ranch Brothel outside Carson City has a collection box for Paul’s campaign

Pimping for Paul – Nevada brothels back the libertarian contender

In a state built on rugged individualism, Ron Paul is a major Republican player

Jonathan Wilson, The Scala, London

“Love it is an apple core, before the fruit was beautiful, now it is a circle, life and death a circle, the circle is a cadence,” Jonathan Wilson maintains on the languid hippie anthem “Gentle Spirit”. You dig? He digs us. He tells us so.

An Honourable Man, By Gillian Slovo

Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians announced that Gordon of Khartoum was not that eminent after all. Nearly a century later, Gillian Slovo's novel confirms the General's membership of the Great British Walking Disaster Brigade. As with her co-authored play Guantánamo and Ice Road, her novel about the siege of Leningrad, An Honourable Man is a fiction populated by real people caught up in historical events. Again we are in a siege, this time of Khartoum in the Sudan, threatened by the Dervish followers of the Mahdi, a mad, mystical leader.

Star spangled: telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert

The best places on earth to see the sky at night

With the Patrick Moore Planetarium in Leicester inspiring a new generation of stargazers, Aaron Miller finds ways to let you get close to the wonders of our cosmos

Album: Gonjasufi, MU.ZZ.LE (Warp)

"Experimental" best describes the third album by this Mexican-Ethiopian-Californian yoga teacher.

Saeed Ajmal’s figures of 10 for 97 in the First Test give Pakistan the early advantage

England must fight their fear of Ajmal

Pakistan off-spinner's threat can be countered with a more positive mindset

The club's pool in New York

The quiet American making a big noise at Soho House

A billionaire pal of the Clintons has bought the elite chain of private members clubs

Djemaa el Fna, central Marrakech, has entertainment every evening

Dazzled by Morocco's desert city

City Slicker: Marrakech - The most exotic place you can reach within three hours from Britain? Amar Grover offers tips for new and returning visitors

Album: Tunng, This Is Tunng... Live from the BBC (Full Time Hobby) (3/5)

Collating Tunng's various radio sessions for shows helmed by such as Rob Da Bank, Lauren Laverne and Marc Riley, This Is Tunng... presents their nu-folk-rock at something close to optimum, in performances which sparkle with spontaneity.

Gap between rich and poor is still growing, study finds

Nearly 75 per cent of the world's poor live in middle-income countries where their fellow citizens' wealth is growing, a study shows.

Asti Hustvedt's 'Medical Muses' is a study of 19th century hysterics who performed bizarre floor shows under the instruction of the famed neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot.

Book of the year... the one you wouldn't lend

What would be the one book from 2011 that you wouldn't lend out, for fear of never getting it back? Last week, we ran a nine-page spread in The Independent's Arts and Books section in which we gave our pick of the best, most memorable books of the year. Maybe you agreed with our choices, or maybe our list had you fuming at inclusions or omissions.

A child plays in the Bedouin town of Alsra

The Bedouin vs Israel's bulldozers

As Jewish settlers move into the desert to make it 'bloom', an ancient way of life is under threat. In Alsra, Catrina Stewart speaks to Arab families on the fault line

David Prosser: The chief executive who set an example

Outlook It is easy enough to throw mud at fat-cat executives who desert a sinking ship with generouspay-offs – and goodness knows there have been enough of them over the past couple of years – so we should be gracious on the odd occasion when someone does the right thing. Step forward Jamie Buchan, chief executive of Southern Cross.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick