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.

The case of the 'predatory' 13-year-old abuse victim and the perpetrator who escaped jail

It is to be hoped the Attorney-General will increase this man's sentence on appeal. However, it’s the reasoning behind the decision that is most worrying.

Reason to be cheerful: official 'life satisfaction' survey reveals happiness is up and anxiety down

Amid Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations the UK decided to look on bright side of life

The provisions made by Waitrose to check conditons with producers were insufficient

Is a Waitrose addiction really the wisest idea for a student?

It has a reputation for being an expensive way to shop. But is it worth it?

Australia captain Michael Clarke jokes with former England skippers Sir Ian Botham (left) and Andrew Strauss (right), now both of Sky

Jack Pitt-Brooke: Sky Sports earn high marks for 'show and tell' at the Ashes

View From the Sofa: From a rev-counter to the Ashes Zone, there's a whole new look to the game in the living room

The Talbot Hotel, Yorkersgate, Malton, North Yorkshire

Following a deafening dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen a few years ago, when twenty-somethings maintained a roundelay of "Happy Birthday" for much of the evening, I've steered clear of restaurants run by TV chefs. So it was with trepidation that I entered the refurbished mansion (Pevsner: "probably c.1840") that houses the Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire, since the owners Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland and his son Tom have installed local boy James Martin, an ornament of Saturday Kitchen and other televisual bonbons, as executive chef.

Albert White: Hat American Indian who championed the Lakota language

The endangered Lakota language has lost one of its greatest supporters. Albert White Hat, who died in South Dakota on 11 June at the age of 74 of prostate cancer, was instrumental in teaching and preserving the American Indian language and translated the Hollywood film Dances with Wolves into Lakota for its actors.

Pooled labour: Ulrich Seidl's 'Love' explores the realities of sex tourism

Film review: Paradise: Love - If you want sex on the beach, prepare for the gritty truth

You might well think that Austrian director Ulrich Seidl takes a dim view of human nature. His Dog Days (2001) depicted the Vienna suburbs as hell on earth, while Import/Export (2007) set dim-witted Austrian thugs loose in a decayed Eastern Europe, while a Ukrainian nurse tried to survive in a horrifically inhospitable West. Yet you can detect a wry tenderness in his new trilogy Paradise, although you have to reach the final episode, Hope, for it to blossom into something like fondness for humanity. In the opening chapter Love, Seidl seems to give us human nature at its worst.

Harrowing: Anne Sophie Duprels, Mungo Reoch, and Dan Stephenson

Classical review: Madama Butterfly - Head down to the park to see a stunning Butterfly take flight

Paul Higgins's staging of Madama Butterfly is not easy to watch, and nor should it be.

The Sea of Innocence

Review: The Sea of Innocence, By Kishwar Desai

Trouble in paradise for Simran Singh

Book review: Gossip from the Forest, By Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland recounts how she spent a year visiting the wilder forests of England and Scotland in search of “the tangled roots” of northern European fairy tales.

We wouldn’t treat our own children like this, so why should children in foster care be any different?

A premature end to fostering can have long-term impact on looked-after children. Parliament must consider this during next week's Children and Families Bill debate

The bling ring-leaders: Michael Douglas and Matt Damon shine in Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic, 'Behind the Candelabra'
Tory MP Nadine Dorries has said she cries every morning because she has started losing her hair

Tory MP Nadine Dorries speaks of hair loss on Daybreak

Former I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! star says it makes her 'cry every morning'

Bradley Wiggins will not defend his Tour de France title after Team Sky yesterday decided there was not enough time for the Briton to recover sufficiently from a knee injury

Sir Bradley Wiggins pulls out of Tour de France due to knee injury (but it’s good news for Chris Froome...)

Simon O’Hagan pays tribute to the star forced to quit the Tour

David Mamet's 'Race' at the Hampstead Theatre

Theatre review: Race, Hampstead Theatre, London

Sitting awkwardly at the centre of David Mamet’s eighty-minute play about race called Race is a four-letter word about sex.

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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Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
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Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
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
Sport
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
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
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