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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Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
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Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
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Curtain calls: Madani Younis
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Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?