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.

Simon English: Schroders' board due for a shake-up

Outlook Back in the late 1990s, the distinguished fund management house Schroders suffered such a chronic period of duff stock-picking that unkind souls in the City dubbed the firm Skodas.

The Snow Child, By Eowyn Ivey

Literary fairy tales are fighting back. Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels, a superb re-writing of Snow-White and Rose Red, is a case in point. Now there is the equally striking The Snow Child, a first novel by Eowyn Ivey, a writer from Alaska. Don't expect anything fey or sentimental; both novels are as tough as they come.

Anne Nolan: "I felt nothing when my father died. But telling the truth about him changed everything"

Four years ago Anne Nolan spoke out after a childhood of abuse. She explains what happened next

Average age of retirement increases

The average age of retirement has risen, official figures showed today, as those approaching state pension age struggle to pay for their later years.

Experience the weird world of Edwardian-themed football speed-dating

 My fingers were achingly sore and my head was spinning. I still had a sticky label stuck to me that read Lady Audley, and the phrase ‘goal-mate’ was echoing in my ears. There was a stick on moustache stuck to my handbag, and I had spent all night avoiding penalties and red cards. I had been speed dating.

David Beckham and Tom Cruise feel the love. But is it only shared fame that binds them?

Sarah Sands: A friend is not the one you turn to, but the person who turns to you

David Beckham's admission that he has only three good friends rings true

Liz Field, chief executive of the Financial Skills Network

Male, pale & stale: Could more women on the board help Mothercare – and other ailing firms?

The retailer's critics say its management is out of touch. Now the PM has returned to the issue of females in boardrooms

Alys, Always, By Harriet Lane

How to crash the London literary scene

England centre Owen Farrell is all smiles at the England training session in Guildford yesterday

Wiping smile off Farrell's face is the challenge for Scots

Saracens' prospect will make his England debut in the cauldron of Murrayfield but he has vowed to enjoy himself

Simon Carr: Drowsy hum of an education bureaucrat

The Sketch

Los Angeles police hunt for clues after feet discovered near severed head

Los Angeles police were hunting for clues to determine the identity of a man whose body was found in parts over the past two days — first a head on Tuesday, then two hands and two feet on Wednesday — just miles from the towering Hollywood sign.

Worrall Thompson was using a self-service checkout at Tesco

Philip Hodson: Teenage antics have all the hallmarks of a cry for help

The first thought, when someone is apprehended doing something of this fashion, is a straightforward and practical one. Is the person hard up? Sometimes people can't even admit to themselves that the bank balance is very low. Remember Occam's Razor – let's go for the simplest explanation to fit the facts.

Mary Ann Sieghart: With role models like these, we are our own worst enemies

Acute little naked baby is grinning at the camera. "Is this the happiest she'll ever be about her appearance?" asks the slogan on the billboard. The ad was for a campaign last year to save future generations of women and girls from hating their bodies. For the explosion in cosmetic surgery – and the explosion of breast implants inside women's bodies – is just a symptom of a corrosive unhappiness that begins only a few years after birth.

California serial killer stabs to death three homeless men

A serial killer is believed to be responsible for stabbing to death three homeless men in Southern California.

Troubled Thomas Cook in a shake-up at top

A boardroom clearout was unveiled at Thomas Cook yesterday, the next stage of the embattled travel group's battle to save itself from doom.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn