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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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum