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.

Krokodil: The heroin substitute is a real threat. We must warn of the potentially devastating effects

I have only seen one patient where I suspected he’d used Krokodil. But the potential for this drug to worsen the lives of homeless drug users is all too real

Has krokodil - the horrific street drug that rots the flesh of addicts – made the switch from Russia to the US?

'Exposed bones and skin hanging off bodies': Arizona fears epidemic caused by the homemade codeine and gasoline-based heroin substitute

Is the Green Party a real political alternative for students?

They're small and growing, but are the Greens a viable option or a wasted vote?

Outgoing chief executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson

Competition in NHS is harming efforts to improve patient care, says outgoing chief Sir David Nicholson

Hospitals being held back from making changes that make 'perfect sense from the point of view of patients'

Trouble ahead: Older people take a risk with non-professional advice

Elderly left struggling by financial advice swap

A switch from commission payments means many old folk feel cut off

Allied forces storm the Normandy beaches on D-Day

Battle of Normandy: Witness by witness, memories of the D-Day landings are preserved

An appeal by the National Veterans’ Association and backed by ‘The Independent’ is starting to bear fruit

James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave in Much Ado About Nothing

Theatre review: Much Ado About Nothing

James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave fail to sparkle

STEPHEN KING, American novelist

Page 3 Profile: Stephen King, American novelist

‘Here’s Johnny!’ So he’s back?

Loneliness, relationship problems and money troubles: The Samaritans reveal what is troubling modern man

One in four men who rang the Samaritans talked about their feelings of loneliness or isolation, the emergency counselling service disclosed last night.

Tim Key: ‘At times I was playing Scrabble with such beauty, it became more like ballet’

A friend challenged me to a game of Scrabble. They should have known better

Obstructive sleep apnoea can prevent sufferers from getting sufficient sleep

Britain ‘lagging behind’ in treatment for sleep disorder

‘Lack of awareness’ about debilitating complaint from which Ed Miliband suffered

Google's project Calico: the search giant looks for an answer to ageing

Larry Page announces mysterious and ambitious new project that will "focus on health and well-being"

Young men aged between 15 and 24 were particularly vulnerable

Spike in suicide rate in Europe and US linked to financial crisis

UK registered 300 deaths above the expected rate in 2009, after start of crisis

Public ‘unaware’ of care-home costs - and of probability they will need care themselves

People in Britain are “oblivious” to the cost of adult care and the likelihood of their own need for care in the future, a report warns today.

Gavin Henson, left, grew steadily more influential on his first start for Bath

Gavin Henson capitalises on Bath’s display of coaching strength

Bath’s high-profile coaching group led by Gary Gold arrived midway through 2012, so by necessity they spent last season, when the Rec crew finished seventh out of 12 in the Premiership, juggling their predecessors’ resources. Not any more. As Matt Banahan, the scorer of Bath’s second try in Saturday’s 27-20 win over Leicester, put it: “You have always got a settling in period with coaches and with players. Coaches obviously want their squad and the players they want to come in, and sometimes they are working with players when they would rather have different ones. So this year we have had that teething out of the way and we have got a squad we want to build on.”

Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost 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
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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
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