Everything starts with the pen

Handwriting has fallen from favour in our schools and offices, but a new hi-tech pen is trying to change the script. Michael Bywater isn't convinced that it makes its mark

Deborah Ross: 'I do not want to see my true self'

If you ask me, all this Eat, Pray, Love business about having to search for your "true self" is all very well, but what if your true self turns out to be a complete dick? I once encountered my true self and, I'm telling you, I took one look at it, and thought: this is bad, bad news.

Drug wars on hold as party spirit takes over Mexico

Mexico looked beyond its drug war to throw a 200th birthday bash celebrating a proud history, whimsical culture and resilience, embodied in the traditional independence cry: "Viva Mexico!"

Two killed when car hits pedestrians in Sandbanks

Two people died after a car hit a group of pedestrians in one of the UK's most exclusive postcodes, police said today.

Man guilty over runaway van deaths

A man whose runaway van killed two young people after he failed to apply the hand brake properly when he parked was today found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

Darker streets could be more dangerous, warns AA

Switching off street lights to save money could lead to more crashes and more crime, the AA said today.

Winter transport plans to be unveiled

Ways of keeping transport moving during severe weather next winter will be outlined in a Government-commissioned report today.

Motorway boy already dead when hit by police car

A schoolboy had already died before he was struck by an unmarked police car after he wandered on to a motorway into the path of traffic, it was disclosed today.

The week in theatre: Rylance’s return, speed-dating and a promenade around Bleak House

Alice Jones on what to see on stage around the country this week

Hit-and-run driver jailed for 11 years

A hit-and-run driver was jailed for 11 years today for mowing down and killing an elderly woman following a high-speed police chase.

Police officer in court over pedestrian's death

A road traffic police officer will face trial today accused of causing death by careless driving.

Crossing 'countdown' is tested in London

Stop, look, listen, leg it. Normally, few pedestrians would risk dashing across a busy road in front of a queue of waiting traffic, with the lights threatening to change at any moment. But yesterday, they took their chances as the country's first countdown tickers – which indicate how long remains before the green man turns red – were unveiled.

Album: Here We Go Magic, Pigeons (Secretly Canadian)

Now expanded from Luke Temple's one-man operation into a bona fide five-piece band following the success of last year's debut album, Here We Go Magic hint at their sizeable potential with Pigeons, though the thinness of some of the ideas suggests they might have rushed to record too soon.

David Prosser: Justice at last for Equitable Life victims?

Outlook One announcement made by the coalition yesterday that should be universally welcomed – assuming it is to be taken at face value – is the promise to offer the victims of the Equitable Life scandal a better deal. Whatever one's views about the performance generally of the previous Labour administration, its failure to do the right thing by Equitable savers was shameful.

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Day In a Page

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
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
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

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
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

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'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015