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.

Five of the six men after their arrest in connection with the gang rape of a female Swiss tourist

Six jailed over Swiss tourist gang rape in India

An Indian court has sentenced six men convicted of the gang rape of a Swiss woman to life imprisonment, a lawyer in the case said.

DVD & Blu-ray review: Runaway Train (15)

Andrei Konchalovsky Blu-ray (109mins)

Film review: The Frozen Ground (15)

Based on real events, this Alaska-set thriller traces the investigation that led to the unmasking of a serial killer.

Paralympian David Weir

Brecon Beacons hiker saw TA soldier in distress and pleading for water during SAS training exercise

Hiker spoke with two soldiers who had broken away during exercise and were looking for water

Heatwave choice: Simon Calder chooses 10 British beaches for you to enjoy the sunshine

From deep south to far north, there is plenty of coastline to savour

Toni Duggan celebrates her late equaliser for England

Servicemen who died in searing heat during Brecon Beacons training were serving with Territorial Army

A third man remains in a serious condition in hospital after the incident on Saturday

Boxing clever: Chris Froome and Sky protect the yellow jersey on Stage 14

Chris Froome increases Tour de France lead

Chris Froome put his name in Tour de France history today with victory on the famed Mont Ventoux.

Shady Norwegian valley town Rjukan lit up for the first time by mirrors in the mountains

Up until this year, residents of the small Norwegian industrial town of Rjukan who wanted to catch a few rays between September and March would have to catch a gondola first. Nestled deep in a valley, no sunlight reaches the streets during the long winter.

Ancient wood to be felled for quarry

Ruling raises fears for future of more than 300 ancient woods around the country

Save the ash tree? Half of us can’t even recognise an oak

An appeal for the public to report tree disease has merely revealed our arboreal ignorance

Chris Froome (yellow helmet) with his Sky team during the Tour rest day

Tour de France 2013: Chris Froome ‘took a right hook on Sunday but he did not flinch’

Brailsford impressed with Tour leader but  admits Sky may leave him exposed again

Rescue teams urge limit on charity walks

Rescue workers last night urged National Parks to introduce a licensing system to control the numbers of charity walkers attempting to climb Britain's highest peaks. Rescue teams, they said, could not carry on automatically turning out to help lost walkers.

Ashes to ashes: The aftermath of last week’s fire near Yarnell, Arizona

Climate change fanned the flames of the Arizona wildfire

Out of America: As summers get hotter we will see more blazes like the one that killed 19 firefighters last week

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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