Sport Rory McIlroy with Tiger Woods in Dubai

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

Album: Tinariwent, Tassili (V2)

Due to the uncertain political situation in their Malian home base of Tessalit, Tinariwen did what comes naturally to nomads, upping sticks and relocating to a tent in the Algerian desert to record Tassili.

Almost 40 per cent of Lib Dem voters desert

More than a third of people who voted Liberal Democrat in last year's general election wish they had chosen differently, an Independent on Sunday poll shows.

Leading article: Easy listening

What honour could be more satisfying than an appearance on Desert Island Discs? To be invited proves that you are a person of significance. And it panders to the strange hankering that has lurked in the British subconscious at least since the time of Daniel Defoe to get away from urban civilisation and to live alone in a tropical paradise. Plus it invites you to choose and hear your eight favourite tracks.

Video feature: Desert Crossings at The Place

Preview an innovative piece of dance theatre, Desert Crossings, opening at The Place, Robin Howard Dance Theatre, in March, choreographed by Gregory Maqoma and inspired by Namibia's Skeleton Coast.

China: Spread of deserts has slowed

Beijing says it has made progress in slowing the loss of land to deserts, but warned that it could take hundreds of years to reclaim areas already swallowed by desertification.

America, By Jean Baudrillard, trs Chris Turner

Billed as "travel/philosophy", America does not fall neatly into either category. It is a series of assertions, inspired by his travels in America, in which Baudrillard strains his hardest to be clever and provocative.

Tinariwen, The Forum, London

Haunting rhythms of the desert

Eight killed in California off-road race

A vehicle ran into a crowd and killed eight people during an off-road race in the Southern California desert, police said today.

Sponsor likely to desert England after World Cup disappointment

The financial fallout from England's embarrassing World Cup is set to see them lose their flagship sponsor amid claims that the Football Association face an immediate struggle to attract blue-riband backers given the combination of the team's failure in South Africa and the current financial climate.

Album: Dirtmusic, BKO (Glitterhouse)

Perhaps it's because the Australian /American trio Dirtmusic was itself formed from members of other bands – variously, The Walkabouts, Come and Bad Seeds – that it collaborates so seamlessly here with the Tuareg group Tamikrest, whose own debut album was released just a few weeks ago.

DVD review: Tulpan (12)

Sergei Dvortsevoy (DVD/Blu-ray, 103 mins)

Commander chases history

Gold Cup hero heads for Aintree in bid to end 76-year wait for follow-up triumph

On The Road: Soaking up desert life in Alice Springs

Alice Springs is greener than I expected. As you fly in you can see the red desert pocked with trees, the organic lines of forgotten riverbeds crossed with straight dirt trails. The aerial landscape seems to mirror the dotted style of the indigenous artwork in this part of the world.

Album: Tamikrest, Adagh (Glitterhouse)

The "spiritual sons of Tinariwen" says the press release, which is one way of putting it.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
Frank Lampard, Manuel Pellegrini and Neil Warnock
footballAll the action from today's games
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
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

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
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

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

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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

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

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas