News Wondering where Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey have disappeared to?

The First Lady is bunkered down at the chat show host's sprawling luxury estate in Maui, reports suggest

The Comet Pan-Starrs is making a rare visit to the inner solar system in the middle of this week, and will fly past the sun

Pan-Starrs: astonomers warned to avoid danger to their eyes from bright comet

Also known as C/2011 L4, the comet won't be seen again from earth for another 110,000 years

Tsunami kills at least five people in Solomon Islands

A powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake set off a tsunami that killed at least five people in a remote part of the Solomon Islands and triggered evacuations across the South Pacific.

Blue Hawaii
Manti Te'o broke American hearts with the sad story of how his girlfriend died - but it turns out she never existed

American Football: The linebacker and the fantasy girl

One of the brightest young talents in American sport, Manti Te'o broke fans' hearts with the sad tale of his girlfriend's death. There's one problem: she never really existed

Daniel Inouye: War hero and respected Senator

Daniel Inouye was a highly decorated Second World War veteran who used his status as one of the longest-serving and most powerful Democrat Senators to funnel billions of dollars to his native Hawaii. He came to national attention when he helped orchestrate inquiries into the Watergate scandal and the Iran-Contra affair.

Obama takes an island break from the pressures of office

With Washington struggling to come to an agreement on the "fiscal cliff", President Barack Obama arrived in Hawaii at the weekend for a Christmas break with his family.

IoS album review: Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (Atlantic/Elektra)

For a 21st-century pop megastar, Bruno Mars doesn’t half sound old-fashioned.

Album: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra, The Jazz Age (BMG)

As reinventions go, this is unexpected: Roxy Music's futurist pop re-recorded as Dixieland jazz instrumentals by Bryan Ferry himself.

The number of women increases in Congress

Election boosts ranks of women in Congress

Twenty years after the election that was heralded as the "year of the woman" comes another one that could be called that.

Tsunami warning for Hawaii after powerful earthquake off the coast of Canada

At least 100,000 people in Hawaii were ordered to move from the shoreline to higher ground late on Saturday after a tsunami warning, but the first waves were less forceful than had been feared and no damage was initially reported.

The Brothers Obama – who's the role model now?

Barack and George were saint and sinner. But as the President's term of office closes, they appear to be exchanging roles

A study based on satellite data of the Earth's atmosphere has shown there is a complicated interaction between the varying amounts of radiation from the Sun and the amount of ozone in the atmosphere

Sun is too round, say scientists

A mystery surrounds the shape of the Sun - it is just too perfectly round, say scientists.

Trending: The phone case that's strictly not for losers

I am, I have to admit, a massive loser. Not in that way. What I mean is, I lose my personal possessions with the same facility other people have for breathing or sleeping. I've said goodbye – or rather, not said goodbye – to two pairs of headphones and, er, four iPhones this year. Shudder then, at the new BookBook iPhone holder (£49.99), which keeps your phone snug, while also acting as your wallet, with room for notes, credit cards and train tickets.

Observations: Back in the driving seat and geared up for a sequel

The American crime writer James Sallis – whose novel Drive was turned into the 2011 Hollywood film with Ryan Gosling – faced a welcome complication when he set about writing the just-released sequel, Driven.

Spelling: When wordsmiths go to war

"P.T.E.R.O.D.A.C.T.Y.L?" Even as someone who gets paid to write words, that one nearly stung me. The spelling bee, the US educational staple made famous by 2002 documentary, Spellbound, is now available to test British wordsmiths' spelling abilities.

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor