Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, the opposition leader, will battle for women’s votes ahead of Australia’s September election

Australia’s long race begins: Julia Gillard plans run-in to elections on 14 September

The election is more than six months away, but both leaders are already trying to look female friendly as they chase critical votes

What exactly is Mercaptan?

Mercaptan is also known as methanethiol and is a harmless but pungent-smelling gas which has been described as having the stench of rotting cabbages or smelly socks.

Michelle Stacey, who appears in the new BBC documentary ‘Allotment Wars’ at her allotment at Monks Farm, Bexley

Allotment thefts: Digging up the dirt on allotment 'vegilantes'

As growing veg becomes more popular, so too has stealing produce and sabotaging small plots

Joan Smith: Supermarkets' cosmetically perfect vegetables impoverish us all

Every Sunday morning, in a working-class suburb of Granada, there is a crowded, sprawling market. Unlike the city centre, which is decidedly posh, it bustles with immigrants from North Africa and local farmers with strong Andalucian accents. They sell misshapen vegetables, twisted red and green peppers which taste wonderful roasted with olive oil and garlic, and tomatoes so juicy they're almost splitting open.

Beetroot spelt with horseradish can be served hot or cold

Beetroot spelt with horseradish

Serves 4-6

Use a soft, Swiss-style cheese such as gruyère or emmenthal for cheese and celery canapes

Cheese and celery

Serves 10

Carry on dining: seasonal indulgence continues

Food Miles: Planning a January detox? Time for a rethink ...

So you're about to gorge yourself on turkey and too much Christmas cheer. But that doesn't mean the party has to stop as the clock ticks over into New Year's Day. There are plenty of ways to extend the season of indulgence both in the UK and abroad.

Tong Chee Hwee: 'Poached nashi pears with bitter almonds are a great way to fend off winter colds'

My Life in Food: Tong Chee Hwee

'Poached nashi pears with bitter almonds are a great way to fend off winter colds'

Books of the Year 2012: Food

From art to sport, poetry to nature, travel to food, history to music: our writers select the best of the year’s books in a comprehensive guide to the highlights in every shade of the literary spectrum – except grey

Jambonette of chicken with celery

Jambonette of chicken with celery

Serves 4

I've discovered how to lose weight: fast

The problem with this amazing diet that I'm on is that it doesn't have a name. It all started during the Olympics when I was in France.

A plate of autumn vegetables

A plate of autumn vegetables

Serves 4

Assange is well - but in need of fresh vegetables, says Westwood

Dame Vivienne Westwood has ended speculation about the ill health of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, following her visit to him at the Ecuadorian embassy last week.

Restaurant Michael Nadra, 42 Gloucester Avenue, London NW1

This week's review comes with its own soundtrack – the bass-driven "I Shoulda Loved Ya", Narada Michael Walden's 1979 disco hit. Damn, that song is catchy. From the moment I booked a table at Restaurant Michael Nadra in Primrose Hill, it lodged as an earworm; I was still humming it while I waited for my guest in the restaurant's Martini bar.

Postcard from... Naples

Two days in Naples doesn't sound very long. But it was enough to get a taste of what this theatrical southern port is all about.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried