Sands of time: Samoa crossed the International Date Line in December, leaving the Americas to join Asia and Australasia

Silver, By Andrew Motion

The best books are written with an ear to somebody. Treasure Island was written in 1883 for Robert Louis Stevenson's 15-year-old stepson, Lloyd Osbourne. It was intended to be a boy's book in the mould of RM Ballantyne's Coral Island, Captain Marryat's Masterman Ready, and Fennimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, ripping yarns all. It succeeded beyond Stevenson's wildest dreams, becoming a cornerstone of childhood literary memory, indirectly inspiring masterpieces as different as Peter Pan, Swallows and Amazons and High Wind in Jamaica, and directly spawning a dozen forgotten prequels and sequels.

Rail commuters face disruption

Rail and Tube passengers suffered travel disruption today because of problems including another signal failure and attempted theft of lead from a station.

Silver: Return to Treasure Island, By Andrew Motion

Treasure Island: The Next Generation

Meteor sparks hunt to find 'secrets from birth of the Earth'

The sight of a flaming meteor shooting across the night sky – and sparking fears a passenger aircraft was about to crash – has kicked off a treasure hunt for secrets about the birth of the Earth.

Hunt is on for meteor 'treasure'

The sight of this meteor shooting across the night sky sparked fears that a passenger jet was about to crash – then triggered a treasure hunt.

'Revenge' killers guilty

Two men were convicted yesterday of beating a television executive unconscious and leaving him to die in a burning car in revenge for an alleged attempted sex attack on a student.

Oar struck: an artist's impression of royal row barge 'Gloriana' which will take part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames

Music to snooze by for the Jubilee

The plans for this Thames river pageant in July are old-fashioned and an embarrassment, says Jessica Duchen

Oar struck: an artist's impression of royal row barge 'Gloriana' which will take part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames

Music to snooze by for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

The plans for the river pageant are an embarrassment

Spate of racist stabbings in Eltham had gone unpunished

One alleged victim of the Acourt gang, who was lucky to survive after being stabbed in the stomach, said he was "overjoyed" that two of its members now face jail.

Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of murder

Gary Dobson and David Norris found guilty of the murder of Stephen Lawrence

Stephen Lawrence's parents today expressed joy and relief as two men were convicted of his murder nearly 19 years after he was stabbed to death.

HMS Ocean will be based in Greenwich

Military presence doubled for London 2012

Up to 13,500 military personnel will help provide security during next summer's Olympics – almost double the 7,000 that had been expected.

HMS Ocean will be based in Greenwich

13,500 military personnel drafted in for London 2012 Olympics

Up to 13,500 military personnel will help provide security during next summer's Olympics, it was announced today.

Stephen Lawrence jury shown video of racist rants

Footage of obscene racist rants by two men accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence was shown to a jury today.

Shining star: Neil Maskell in Ben Wheatley's horror / thriller 'Kill List'

Why Britain's got talent once again on the big screen

The renaissance in British film-making is down to daring directors

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
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Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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