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.

Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale, has been sued for allegedly misrepresenting the Ramapough tribe of New Jersey

Christian Bale film Out of the Furnace sued by Native American tribe

Members of the Ramapough tribe of New Jersey have claimed misrepresentation

The photo that the mother of a suicide victim sends along with his ashes to strangers so her thrill-seeking son can fulfill his dream of travelling the world

Facebook gives mother of US Air Force thrill-seeker CJ Twomey one final adventure in ashes scattering

Hundreds of strangers on Facebook have helped Hallie Twomey with her mission

The Hart district of Hampshire has been named the most desirable place to live in the UK. With 84 square miles of green wooded landscape and Hampshire's largest freshwater lake, the area has been dubbed

Hart can't possibly be the best place to live in Britain – there's not even a decent restaurant

Hampshire exile Jamie Merrill fails to see what’s so great about this particular slice of pricey commuter belt

Alastair Cook pictured after England lost the Ashes

Donald MacInnes: Surprise, Surprise! There is a limit to American overspending

As we trudge ever onwards towards Santa's ghastly grotto, bearing that annual downcast air; heading for yet another financial cavity search of Christmas spending, I thought it timeous that I address some possible differences between how we approach emptying our bank accounts in celebration of the birth of Jesus (how apt, how suitable... not) and how our American third-cousins-twice-removed do so.

Parsifal: Opera review

Royal Opera House, London

Protesters march against plans to develop Rosia Montana
Graeme Swann takes part in an Aboriginal dance during a visit to
Ayers Rock

Ashes 2013-14: England find time to smile for now but vow to resume sledging war in second Test against Australia

Tourists must prepare in the outback this week for the cauldron of the second Test in Adelaide

Madonna di Campiglio’s Spinale Direttissima is one of Europe’s toughest descents

Steep thrills: Italy's recession-hit resorts put faith in hair-raising black pistes

Testing a skier’s limit is at the heart of plans to reverse a drop in holidaymakers

The Australians celebrate after Ryan Harris of Australia claimed the wicket of Alastair Cook of England during day two of the First Ashes Test

Ashes 2013-14 comment: Alastair Cook is a problem, and his lack of runs are costing England

England's batting deficiencies well exposed by Australia on day two of the First Test

Mitchell Johnson of Australia bats during day one of the First Ashes Test match between Australia and England at The Gabba

Ashes 2013-14: The Aussie Angle - Mitchell Johnson provides one of the few positives

The late coming of Mitchell Johnson – with the bat – has papered over the thick cracks that still race in all directions through the Australian top order.

The Week in Radio: From Our Own Correspondent is a jewel in the BBC's crown

I can't remember the first time I heard From Our Own Correspondent on the radio. What I do recall is that it was part of the background noise of my childhood alongside the Blue Peter theme tune, the sound of farmyard animals and the words: "You're not going out dressed like that."

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in the video for 'Bound 2'

Kanye West debuts Nick Knight-directed Bound 2 video featuring Kim Kardashian

The artist debuted his new video on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Powder room: skiers assail the pristine slopes of Whistler

Make your own tracks at dawn

Alf Alderson advises you to rise with the lark if you want to enjoy the best skiing

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
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booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
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Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
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Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
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Independent Travel
Bruges
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Burgundy
South AFrica
Paris
Northern Corsica
Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital