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.

Jean-Jacques De Gucht, of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats, spoke in favour of the proposal

Belgian Senate votes in favour of law allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children

Senators shrugged off vociferous opposition from religious groups

Last year, an average of £7.80 went on wine, beer and spirits brought from the off licence or supermarket

Stay-at-home drinking and socialising on the rise as Britons avoid paying premium of being served food or drink in pubs and bars

Going for a coffee is now the third most popular leisure outing beating attending a concert or hitting a night club, according to study

Universal specifics: Hadas Yaron in 'Fill the Void'

Fill The Void, film review: 'An insider's view on Orthodox Hassidic life'

A delicately directed drama with themes recognisable to any audience

Matteo Renzi, the mayor of Florence, was voted the leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico this week, and has been compared to Tony Blair

Dawn of a new era: Italy’s ‘Tony Blair’ shakes up centre left with youthful team

Italian politics is in for a change, with the youthful new leader of the Democratic Party heralding an end to a system moribund with cronyism

Demonstrators marching towards Government House in Bangkok; an estimated 100,000 protesters flooded the streets

Stalemate in Bangkok: protests go on despite Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s surprise election offer

Analysts say call for early elections is unlikely to satisfy opponents who want to rid country of Shinawatra family's influence

Plans to raise the basic state pension age to 70 for people currently in their twenties were laid out in the George Osborne's Autumn Statement

Britain's poor 'will die before they retire' if pension reforms aren't matched by health improvements

Stark disparity in healthy life expectancy ‘must be tackled’ for pension age  to be raised fairly

Number of people over the age of 85 in England and Wales up by 25%

The number of the nation's “oldest old” has increased by nearly a quarter in the last decade, figures show.

The controversial pundit has reportedly been removed from her position after a poorly timed tweet about life expectancy

Katie Hopkins ‘axed’ from This Morning after Scottish life expectancy tweet

The controversial pundit has reportedly been removed from her position after a poorly timed tweet about life expectancy

George Osborne said in June that the savings from delaying the state pension age were 'absolutely enormous'

Autumn Statement 2013: Work until you’re 70 - George Osborne accused of ‘living in fantasy land’ over pension reforms

Changes mean anyone born after 1990 faces five years’ extra work - but measures could save £400bn over the next 50 years and reflect rising life expectancy

I won't be invited on Desert Island Discs, but if I was, I've got it all planned out...

My island would be full of the divine sound of the ukelele

How far will people be driving home for Christmas?

People in the east of England are the most likely to have to travel 100 miles or more to visit their childhood home

Hibu shareholders hit out at Yellow Pages 'conspiracy'

Shareholders in collapsed Yellow Pages publisher Hibu have accused the directors of a "conspiracy" to let the main company go bust while preserving the value of its subsidiaries for lenders.

Right to choose: the young women of Somaliland need education as well as better health care

The importance of health care: Blind choices

Many women in developing countries don't realise that they have a right to healthcare and to make decisions about their own bodies. This has to change, says Edna Adan ssmail

Study shows energy drinks 'significantly increased' heart contractions

Researchers measured heart contractions before and after volunteers consumed a single energy drink

Katie Hopkins apologises for ‘terribly ill timed’ Scottish life expectancy tweet one day after Glasgow helicopter crash

An online petition has been set up calling for Hopkins to be ‘banned’ from ever appearing on TV again

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album