Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Edinburgh 2013: John Robins: Where Is My Mind?

A former flatmate of a clutch of successful Bristol-based comics that included Russell Howard and Jon Richardson, John Robins could be the next of his peer group to go on to greater things.

Leading rail firm First Great Western accused over 'secret 11% fare hike'

A leading rail firm has been accused of secretly increasing advance rail fares by over 11%.

Bob Dylan's 'Nina Felix' - part of the exhibition 'Bob Dylan: Face Value' at the National Portrait Gallery

Review: Bob Dylan, Face Value - The musician-turned-artist's portraits have a lyrical side

“The empty handed painter from your streets / Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets,” Bob Dylan sang on his 1965 hit "It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue". While Dylan, now 72, is loved by millions for creating songs with such depth, anger, and poetry, he has also always been a visual artist, albeit a private one.

Book review: The Asylum, By John Harwood

“I am Miss Georgina Ferrars  of Gresham’s Yard, London. I am. I swear that I am. And I shall prove it.”

Ryan Harris celebrates after taking the wicket of England's captain, Alastair Cook, at The Kia Oval

Ashes 2013: Ryan Harris has become Australia’s main man for home series

The Aussie Angle: Big man has just one more box to tick: an Ashes series win

Clifford Coonan's Sketch from the trial of Bo Xilai: An ‘open’ hearing which is closed to foreign journalists, in a city where my hotel reservation has just been cancelled

China’s “trial of the century” in the sweltering, eastern coastal city of Jinan has been hailed by authorities as “open” proceedings, but the atmosphere is hardly welcoming.

Mothers play a crucial role in determining how quickly their children grow old

Blame your mum if the years have not been kind: study says mothers pass on 'ageing gene'

Results could help in discovery of ways to slow down ageing in humans

In some areas, local health authorities did not receive a single application for a deprivation of a liberty safeguards (DoLS) authorisation

Complacent? Alarm sounded over huge variations in legal safeguards for the vulnerable

Mental health charity warns 'fundamental human rights' could be at risk

'Grey jurors' given the nod as age limit raised from 70 to 75

Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green 'harnessing life experiences of people who can offer significant benefits'

Police respond to the the ‘terror attack’

Panic on the streets of Birmingham: City responds to mock terror attack

Exercise tests if there are cultural differences in responding to instructions from emergency services

GTA 5 travelogue guide to Los Santos: Join a cult, steal a car

New featurettes promise Los Santos will be the most full-realised GTA city yet

Is it rude to use your smart phone during screenings? Cinema etiquette debate rages in US

Film buffs fight to keep tweeters and bloggers who use tech silent

The Spanish church’s fresco was succumbing to damp, left, before its facelift

So bad it was brilliant: Botched fresco restoration answers Spanish town’s prayers with tourism boom

Monkey-faced Christ found fame online, and whole village has reaped the benefits

Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone

‘Dirty and unsafe’: Whipps Cross hospital told it must make urgent changes

Inspectors reported cases of women having to wait up to four hours to be seen at a labour ward

Quadruple amputee Philippe Croizon speaking to his friend Arnaud Chassery, with whom he crossed the Bering Strait between North America and Russia

Channel-crossing quadruple amputee Philippe Croizon has stolen wheelchair returned

A bus driver found the expensive, custom-built chair dumped in a car park, and phoned Mr Croizon after seeing media coverage of the theft

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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

Monique Roffey interview

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

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015