News

The single-engine Cessna 150 was only 10 minutes into a flight from the town of Forbes yesterday afternoon when the pilot lost consciousness

Environmental activists shut down coal port

Australian climate change activists yesterday closed down operations at the world's largest coal port after entering its three terminals and attaching themselves to loaders.

Australia faces worst plague of locusts in 75 years

Ideal breeding conditions for grasshoppersare expected to cost farmers billions

Hodgson denies divided loyalties as Wolves await

In these days of fixed-term contracts, his situation is hardly unique, but few players' present and future will collide in more pressurised circumstances than for Brett Hodgson today.

Fish-gobbler banned from circus show

A Russian circus touring Australia dropped an act in which a performer swallows a live fish then regurgitates it after complaints that it was in poor taste and inhumane.

Book Of A Lifetime: Voss, By Patrick White

Writing about books that were important to him, Patrick White once said that one seems to "go on living in them for ever, possibly because they give glimpses of a heartbreaking perfection one will never achieve". Such was the case when, as a young aspiring novelist, I first read 'Voss' 50 years ago and watched its pages open like a vast geological fissure in the domesticated landscape of English fiction. Not that the book is perfect – its scale is too grand for that – and its terrain is Australian not English. But just as that continent's early explorers found its native species so strange they hardly knew how to see them, so White'saccount of a venture to the deep interior of both land and soul speaks to dimensions of experience so rarely examined that he felt hardly anybody would "understand what I am on about".

Burrow back for Leeds' top-four fight

Leeds have Rob Burrow back in their squad at Hull KR tomorrow night after a two-month absence with a knee injury.

Racism alive and kicking on Australia's pitches

Three incidents in which Aboriginal players were subjected to foul-mouthed abuse have shamed rugby and Aussie rules football

Race row ends in Queensland win

Queensland took full advantage of New South Wales' disarray in the wake of the Andrew Johns affair by inflicting one of the heaviest defeats in State of Origin history. Mal Meninga's Maroons clinched a record fifth series in a row with a 34-6 victory in Brisbane yesterday – and it was the players insulted by Johns who did much of the damage.

Kevin Humphreys: Rugby league official whose career ended in disgrace

Kevin Humphreys was the most powerful man in the world of rugby league for more than 10 years, an innovative Australian administrator who changed the face of the game but whose career ended in scandal and controversy.

Johns resigns following racial slur

New South Wales will go into tomorrow's State of Origin clash without the legendary Andrew Johns in their corner, following his resignation from their coaching staff over a racial slur on Queensland's Greg Inglis.

Paedophile accused deported to Canada

A suspected paedophile who fled to England to escape trial has been recaptured and extradited, police said today.

Anger at plans for shop on Aborigine burial site

In 1965 a group of Sydney University students, led by a young Aboriginal activist, Charles Perkins, toured New South Wales by bus to highlight racial discrimination in country towns. One of the stops on their "Freedom Ride" was Moree, where blacks were barred from the public swimming baths.

Idris' NSW cameo serves warning to England coach

New South Wales ran out of time after being outplayed by Queensland for most of a first State of Origin match in Sydney that will give the England coach, Steve McNamara, food for thought.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas