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

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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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