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.

Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office

Avatar was my idea, says James Cameron (and I’ve got a 45-page document to prove it...)

Director hits back after being sued for massive slice of $3bn profits from hit movie

A Madagascan woman walks through baobab trees

Where to go in 2013: Madagascar

Why go in 2013? A world of wild wonders

Sting moves venue of Philippine concert

Sting has moved the location of his "Back to Bass Tour" concert in the Philippines following a petition by environmentalists who said the original venue is owned by a conglomerate that plans to uproot 182 trees for a parking lot and mall expansion in a northern mountain city.

Robert Back was a runner-up last year with this photo of a boy in Madhya Pradesh, India

Competition: Win a photo commission to Papua New Guinea

Your chance to enter the UK's biggest amateur travel photography competition

SeaQuarium staff fit CCTV to stop stingray theft

Aquarium staff have installed CCTV after they say a visitor attempted to make off with a stingray.

Many species of the poison dart frog are critically endangered

Rainforest wildlife havens on brink of collapse

Outside destruction is threatening lush reserves designed to protect world's richest biodiversity

Reef & Rainforest's tour promsies to reveal some of Borneo's most impressive wildlife, such as orang-utans and proboscis monkeys

Good work so far, but we're not seeing the wood for the trees

If you've ever seen large-scale deforestation, especially of the rainforest, and seen it close up when it's just happened, you feel you're in the aftermath of an armoured battle. The scale of the destruction stuns you: cleared ground which seems to be everywhere smoking, burning tree stumps flickering like huge candles. It feels as if some giant beast has torn off a great lump of the landscape and savagely consumed it, leaving bits of it bleeding behind.

A Greenpeace picture shows the deforestation at the Belo Monte Dam project, near Altamira, Brazil

The green movement at 50: Mission unaccomplished

In the fourth part of our series marking 50 years of the green movement, Michael McCarthy looks at the areas where environmental activism has failed

Earthrise: the lunar horizon is 350 miles from the spacecraft, while the Earth is 240,000 miles distant

The man whose image changed the way we view planet Earth

It has been part-religion and part socio-political crusade, has penetrated all corners of the globe and on Saturday it is 50 years old. But how much of a difference has the modern environment movement really made?

Tesco dropped its supplier after it was found to be selling meat from illegally deforested pasture

Tesco sold beef farmed in Amazon

Tesco has been accused of fuelling the destruction of the Amazon rainforest by selling beef from cattle reared on land stolen from the jungle.

Tim Smit is setting up the world’s first digital technical college to give blue-collar workers the same ‘dignity’ as the white-collar professions

Tim Smit: Life after Eden... Mr Optimism returns with a new big idea

Tim Smit, the maverick behind Cornwall's indoor rainforests, now has an even grander project: shaking up Britain's blue-collar workforce. Michael McCarthy meets him

Crysis 3 – Preview

Take a trip to the urban rainforest in the boots of Crysis 3's Prophet.

Second Orange Prize nod for Ann Patchett

Former Orange Prize winner Ann Patchett could pick up the prestigious literary prize for a second time after she was nominated again 10 years after she first won.

Shining Path guerrillas

Return of the Shining Path

Terrorist group kidnaps 40 workers less than a week after Peru's President said it had been 'totally defeated'

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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
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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