Air Force probe expands to UK air base and five more in America

Album: Smoosh, Free to Stay (Barsuk Records)

If Hannah Montana was played by Frances Bean Cobain instead of Billy Ray Cyrus's daughter Miley, you'd pretty much have Smoosh, a two-piece indie-rock band from Seattle featuring sisters Chloe, 12, on drums and Asya, 14, on keyboards and vocals.

She's bigger than Elvis and the Beatles and worth a mint. But who is Hannah Montana?

Squeaky clean, just 15, and billed as the anti-Britney superstar, Miley's the next big thing

Hannah Montana 3D (U)

Before this week, I had no idea who Hannah Montana was. Now I gather she's an American tween singing sensation on her way to becoming a pop billionaire.

Which is nice for her. Hannah is apparently the alter ego of actress-singer Miley Cyrus, who between them rock out to an all-screaming, all-waving sea of pubescent worshippers. What with the dancers, the fireworks and the glittery costumes, it makes the recent U2-concert film look about as lively as a Rotary Club dinner.

The Weasel: Around the world in a day

Brrrr! Bit brass monkeys, isn't it? Mind you, it's a dashed sight nippier where I am, hovering over the 3,807-metre Valkyrie Dome. This Wagnerian eminence is in the heart of Queen Maud Land around 600 miles from the Crown Prince Olav Coast fringing King Haaken VII Sea. Not far away, there is Kaiser Wilhelm II Land, Princess Elizabeth Land (it might be unchivalrous to reveal that it was named after HM in 1931), Roosevelt Plateau, and the snappily named King Leopold & Queen Astrid Coast. As more adventurous readers will recognise, these majestic monikers apply to patches of chilly wasteland. I am peering at Antarctica or, to be more precise, Plate 122 of the 12th edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, which reveals that the icy continent has been sliced up like a cake by various nation states, who have deposited the names of their rulers like graffiti carved on an ancient monument. Sadly, the Atlas omits a name in the French wedge that is the geographical equivalent of a Gallic shrug: Pourquoi Pas Point.

American football: Brady seals status as kingmaker of Patriots' dynasty

TOM BRADY, all the laws of his rough trade insist, will one day know a moment that came to Joe Montana - the man against whom he will now be measured every time he steps on to the gridiron.

The Heart of America - One man's junk

DAVID ORKIN uncovers a treasure trove of American memorabilia in big sky country

Waxwings, Jonathan Raban

D J Taylor welcomes a novel of exile as English and Chinese incomers pursue American dreams

Trail Of The Unexpected: The face of the Black Hills

Four presidents and a native american leader

Serendipity: The vagaries of radar

I RECENTLY HAD dinner with Neal Stephenson, the cult science fiction writer. He had just written Cryptonomicon, a thriller based on encryption, and I had just written The Code Book, a history of cryptography. Neal told me a story with a cryptographic angle and a serendipitous twist, concerning the Japanese attack on the Pacific island of Midway in June 1942. The Americans knew that an assault was imminent because they had cracked much of the Japanese code, but they were unsure about the exact location of AF, an encoded grid reference.

COMMENT: THE FRIARY NEWSLETTER - The worst case we've seen of pants on fire syndrome

This week, Ivan `Porky Pie' Montague (not his real name), head of the Friary's Truth Department, writes...
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