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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable