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.

Is Breaking Bad's Ozymandias the greatest episode of TV ever written?

Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched episode 14 of Breaking Bad season five, look away now

Picture of the day: What’s not to hike - 360,000 trekkers make their way up the top of Snowdon

Unusually large numbers of hill walkers on Saturday make their way to the summit of Snowdon, catching the last of the summer weather.

Colorado floods: Residents warned to evacuate or face weeks without power, running water or basic supplies

At least four people have died and hundreds remain unaccounted for, with more rain forecast for the coming days

Invisible Ink: No 190 - Arthur Upfield

Golden Age crime-writing was not the exclusive province of the British and the Americans. Arthur Upfield is an interesting case, because something very disturbing happened to him. Upfield was born in 1890 in Hampshire, but in 1910, after he fared poorly in his exams (he was planning to become an estate agent) his father shipped him off to Australia, where he eventually settled – if you can call it settling, for he led an itinerant life.

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Slice of the city: Algiers

I visited Algiers and found it a very strange place. Horribly expensive hotels and absolutely nothing to do in the evening (though I see from your article that the local authorities are trying to address the situation) and huge numbers of police with guns milling about at seemingly random checkpoints. Not that they were at all threatening to me, but they did seem to be overly worried for my wellbeing. I'd agree the place shows a lot of promise, but it wasn't quite as idyllic as you pointed out. I'll give it five years and then return to see how things have changed.

Paul

'Siberian Mowgli' found after spending 16 years living in the wilderness

Russian authorities have discovered a young man in the Siberian forest who said he had been living in a hut with his parents for the last 16 years, according to local officials.

GTA 5: map leak shows off the biggest Grand Theft Auto game world to date

Fictional game world of Los Santos casts a satirical eye over the excesses of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas.

Book of a lifetime: In the Heart of the Country, by JM Coetzee

A good book must have a certain aroma. That is what a lifetime of reading library books has taught me. Some reek too much of tobacco, others have a musty odour that seems to choke the very text, but the books that chime with me just smell right. I find them by accident; hiding behind frayed plastic jackets in the book sales of the local libraries. I peel away their protective wrapping and then sniff. In the Heart of the Country by JM Coetzee had hints of apple, sandalwood and charcoal between its pages; surprising, for such a lean and austere book, but  also promising.

Opposite: the Blue Mountains National Park

Body found in Australia bushland is 'missing British man Gary Tweddle'

Gary Tweddle has not been seen since he disappeared after a work dinner seven weeks ago

Opposite: the Blue Mountains National Park

Australia: Body found in Blue Mountains hunt for missing Briton Gary Tweddle

The 23-year-old expat went missing on 15 July from his hotel

On song: Jordi Gomez celebrates after claiming the second goal for Wigan

Wigan Athletic 2 Nottingham Forest 1 match report: Billy Davies seething as Forest come up short

The visitors' dressing-room backs onto the press toilets at the DW Stadium. Usual insights are reliably restricted to dubious musical tastes, but at half-time of this match, only the rasping voice of Billy Davies was audible. When put politely, the Nottingham Forest manager was not happy with his team's performance. It was industrial strength stuff. Given what he'd seen, it was also understandable.

Johnathan Croom suicide: Teenage boy obsessed with Into the Wild film found dead after disappearing in Oregon wilderness

The 'super smart' teenager's abandoned car was discovered last Wednesday

Four people rescued from mountainside in China

A group of people in China have been rescued after they were nearly swept away by a fast-flowing river when torrential rain struck.

Saltwater crocodile numbers in Australia have shot up since the species was protected by federal law in 1971

Australian police retrieve body after 26-year-old man killed in crocodile attack

The body of a 26-year-old swimmer who was snatched by a crocodile as he attempted  to cross an Australian river has been recovered by police.

The Big Six: Luxury camps

From safari-style tents and old ghost towns to rice paddies and desert experiences

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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all