News An aerial picture of the Grand Canyon in Arizona from around 30,000 feet (10,000m)

It was thought that the global landmark was perhaps 70million years old

Kabul Stories

In the tough, day-to-day life of Kabul, military reservists are learning skills that will bring them promotion in their real jobs at home, says Raymond Whitaker

Stars and planets: September

The migrant's masks

A journey of a writer who dwells both on the surface and in the deep

Twin eruptions threaten chaos for Ecuador

THE SMALL and economically racked Latin American nation of Ecuador may be hit by two simultaneous volcanic eruptions. A red alert had already been declared around one, Tungurahua, and 20,000 people evacuated from their homes when another, known as Guagua ("Baby") Pichincha, began threatening the capital, Quito, home to 1.2 million people.

Leading article: Heavenly omens

SHOOTING STARS are one of the most spectacular sights in astronomy and, like most celestial events, they attract their own brand of superstition. When the Leonid meteors come crashing through our skies tonight they should, if the clouds part, produce more than a dozen streaks a minute. Spectacular yes, but not quite the show of 1833 when the Leonids caused thousands of shooting stars to fall like a heavenly fountain, leading many to believe that the Day of Judgement was at hand.

Charles Cording

Sir: In his letter entitled "NHS is good value" (15 November), Dr Scammell refers to the "phobia" that the political parties have about spending public money on services we want. This is no phobia; the notion that public spending is in some way intrinsically bad and that private finance is unquestionably good is an example of a quasi-axiom, or "quaxiom".

Serendipity An explosive theory

LAST WEEK I visited the "Full Moon" exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, which displays just a tiny fraction of the 32,000 photographs taken by the Apollo astronauts between 1967 and 1972. It is a spectacular array of images, dismissing the myth that grey is necessarily dull. Unfortunately, the exhibition closes today, and so if you want to see it, you will have either to dash down to the South Bank this afternoon, or else buy the book, entitled Full Moon, by Michael Light.

Search engines: Serendipity - Life on Mars

THE UNLUCKIEST dog in history died on 28 June, 1911 in the town of Nakhla, Egypt. According to onlookers, it was struck by a rock from outer space, part of a meteor shower that peppered the region. Despite the dog's death, the Nakhla meteorite was a cause for celebration, because it was to play a major role in the story of extra-terrestrial science.

Spin that's out of this world

ASTRONOMERS HAVE captured detailed images of a big asteroid that missed the Earth by 5.3 million miles - about 20 times further away than the Moon - as it passed by this month.

Outlook: Next promotion

Outlook: Next promotion

`Red ten' means a global catastrophe

A DANGER scale has been devised to assess the potential devastation that could result from a collision between an asteroid and Earth.
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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
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Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
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Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
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All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
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Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

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Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
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Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor