Grand Final: Cayless set for comeback

St Helens' New Zealand prop Jason Cayless is in line to make his comeback from injury in Saturday's engage Super League Grand Final after being named in coach Daniel Anderson's 19-man squad.

Sydney admits taping performance

China caused international uproar when it asked a photogenic girl to mime a song at the opening of the Beijing Games – but it turns out it was only following Australia's example. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has admitted its stirring performance for the 2000 Olympics was pre-recorded. More galling for Sydneysiders is that parts of the backing tape were recorded by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – the city's cultural arch-rival. Libby Christie, the director of the Sydney orchestra, said two were required because of tight deadlines and a "mountainous workload". Live performances were ruled out because Games organisers "wanted to leave nothing to chance", she added.

Andrew Upton: Life in the shadow of his wife

Andrew Upton is used to living in the shadow of his wife Cate Blanchett. He talks to Alice Jones about their relationship, and coming into the spotlight with his latest play

New Zealand 39 Australia 10: McCaw leads Kiwi charge

Shell-shocked Australia have no answer to the home side's forward power and passion

Pope's Australia visit overshadowed by abuse case

Allegations that a priest sex scandal was covered up and a row about civil liberties threaten to blight six-day Sydney festival

Sydney Dowse: 'Great Escape' survivor

Shot down in 1941 flying his Spitfire while on a photo reconnaissance mission, Sydney Dowse, after his capture, made a number of escapes and was then sent to Stalag Luft III. He was among the men who dug the tunnel from which the escape of 76 prisoners took place in 1944, the mass breakout which was immortalised in the film The Great Escape in 1963. After 14 days of freedom, Dowse was captured and sent to the "death camp" Sachsenhausen, from which he also escaped – albeit for a short while. Although he endured four years of captivity, his ebullient spirit was never diminished.

Suburban Sydney shows dark side as Muslim school row gets vicious

Plans to build a Muslim school on the outskirts of Sydney have sparked a backlash that has been stoked by fundamentalist Christians and far-right politicians who have no connection with the area.

Gay diver breaks Australian sporting taboo

Australia's cities all boast thriving gay communities, and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which recently celebrated its 30th birthday, has become a mainstream cultural event. Yet Australian sport remains a bastion of heterosexuality – on the surface, at least.

German survivor tells how pride of Australia was sunk

Edmund Büttner vividly remembers seeing shells from his ship smash into the bridge of the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney, killing nearly every officer before the crippled and burning warship sank with the loss of all 645 hands.

Ecological disaster area: Sydney's dirtiest little secret

Few placeson Earth have a carbon footprint to match that of Mosman, one of Australia's wealthiest enclaves. But now its civic leaders are going green. Kathy Marks reports

Harbhajan hits out at Hayden crack

The India spinner Harbhajan Singh has stoked the controversy which engulfed him on the tour of Australia, describing the world's top-ranked team as "arrogant" and criticising some of their players.

Paperback: Body Surfing, By Anita Shreve

Over the course of 12 previous novels, Anita Shreve's heroines have sampled some of life's crueller blows. Sydney Sklar, the troubled protagonist of Body Surfing, is no exception. At the age of 29, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed. In an effort to "drift and heal", she takes a job as tutor to 18-year old Julie Edwards at her parents' beach house in New Hampshire. The house has featured in Shreve's previous novels, Fortune's Rocks, Sea Glass and The Pilot's Wife.Arriving to undermine Sydney's new-found equilibrium are Julie's two disturbingly restless older brothers. Both good-looking preppy professionals, one is an academic, the other a corporate realtor. Both seem attracted to Sydney, but after an afternoon watching her body surf, it's Jeff, the enigmatic elder sibling, who greets her from the surf with a dry towel.

Vicious Sydney: cricket reduced to ashes again in heat of battle

The unacceptable state of the Test series Down Under means a system of player referrals has become essential. By Stephen Brenkley

How do I look?: Sydney Poitier

Actress, age 34

Leonard Freed

Insightful photographer
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