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.

A wildfire in central Idaho forced the evacuation of 2,250 homes near the upmarket tourist towns of Hailey and Ketchum

Picture of the day: Fighting fire with water as Idaho burns

A wildfire in central Idaho forced the evacuation of 2,250 homes near the upmarket tourist towns of Hailey and Ketchum over the weekend, as firefighters lost ground against the blaze that also threatens the Sun Valley ski resort.

Sensational typing: the Orée wooden keyboard

A week with: The Orée wooden keyboard

As thick as a plank (not in a bad way...)

Tales from the Trees: Harewood Housewoods, Leeds

Stags stalk the sun-dappled grounds of this stately home

French police step up watch on British drivers

UK drivers liable for on-the-spot fines as British Government opts out of EU road safety legislation

TA soldier's death on SAS training exercise due to organ failure, inquest told

A Territorial Army soldier who died following an SAS training exercise in the Brecon Beacons suffered multiple organ failure, an inquest has heard.

Godfrey Bloom, shown here about to be excluded from the European parliament for shouting

Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom insists that "Bongo Bongo Land" simply means land of the antelope

Unrepentant MEP refuses to back down or apologise over comments that caused storm of protest, insisting there was no racist intent behind phrase

Greece declares wildfires emergency

Greek authorities have announced a series of emergency measures to prevent the outbreak of wildfires during a week of high winds and warm temperatures, after firefighters and soldiers spent the night battling a large blaze north of Athens.

Audio: Marika Hackman

Watch the videos below to take in tracks by Marika Hackman from her debut EP ‘That Iron Taste’.

Natalie Rae Hynde superglued to partner Simon Medhurst at the anti-fracking protest at the Cuadrilla fracking site in Balcombe, Sussex.

Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies' daughter Natalie arrested after gluing herself to boyfriend during fracking protest

Natalie Hynde, the daughter of The Pretenders’ singer Chrissie Hynde and The Kinks’ Ray Davies has been arrested after apparently gluing her hands to her boyfriend during a protest against fracking.

Around 4,000 people attended the service near Pozzuoli

May they all rest in peace: Funeral for 38 victims of Italian bus crash

Relatives wept and clutched coffins draped with flowers at a mass funeral held in Italy for the 38 victims who died in Sunday’s bus crash.

The 'Llullaillaco Maiden' mummy was found in 1999 in what is now north-west Argentina

Drugs and alcohol in child victim reveal sacrificial secrets of the Incas

Analysis of mummy's hair by UK team shows teenage girl was given coca and alcohol before ritualistic death

Plague infected squirrel discovered in National Forest near Los Angeles

The diseased animal - a ground squirrel - was found to be carrying the disease, which if not treated with antibiotics is usually fatal

A view of the Olympic Stadium

You can doubt concrete parts of the Olympic legacy, but there's no questioning its spirit

A run around the Olympic Stadium offers hope for the future

Sir Dave Brailsford speaks with the winner of the 2013 Tour de France, Chris Froome, during the final stage

Tour de France 2013: Sir Dave Brailsford hails Team Sky effort that propelled Chris Froome to glory

Froome became the second winner from Team Sky in as many years

Chris Froome hit the ground running

Tour de France 2013: 10 steps to glory for Chris Froome

How Froome went one better this time and ascended to the top of the podium

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Day In a Page

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
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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'