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

Republican blow for Democrats in Haiti

Republicans scored a mid-term election victory by winning a Democratic-held congressional seat in Hawaii, in the district where President Barack Obama grew up, the latest triumph for the Republican Party as it looks to take back control of Congress.

Sailor comes to rescue of starving Kanton islanders

A British sailor came to the rescue of a group of "desperate and starving" islanders after chancing upon them on his way to Australia, the coastguard said today.

Kathy Marks: Gay pride meets corporate ambition

Sydney Notebook: While same-sex marriage remains illegal, the mention of politics makes many gay people yawn

Pacific heights: North Shore of Oahu hits the jackpot

Waimea Bay's waves are legendary but yesterday brought the biggest swell in years and a dramatic surfing contest. Andy Martin reports from Hawaii

Pearl Harbor: 'It's a little bit better than "sh*t gaze", right?'

Sister pairing Piper and Skylar are Pearl Harbor. I dropped Piper an email with some questions about the band, here's what she had to say for herself.

All her material possessions: Sally Ann Lasson gets a tour of supermodel Marie Helvin's wardrobe

Marie Helvin says she has been on a diet all her life but judging from a close look at her, it's surely been worth it. Still fabulous at 57, Helvin is in the process of decluttering her life, and to that end is auctioning off many of her clothes and dresses, including the Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche wedding outfit from her 1975 marriage to David Bailey. A photograph included in the lot shows the couple with their witnesses: Tina and Michael Chow, Michael Roberts and Cathy Damon, another supermodel of the day. A little piece of fashion history with an estimated value of £300 -500.

Sport in brief: Leeds' Kiwi forward Eastwood out of Four Nations

Rugby League: Greg Eastwood, Leeds' recruit from New Zealand, is out of the Four Nations with a broken wrist. The Kiwi forward fractured his scaphoid in Saturday's win over France. He will return to the southern hemisphere after the tournament and is expected to be back for pre-season training at Leeds. England name their team today, and must decide whether Danny McGuire retains the stand-off jersey. Dave Hadfield

Board game: Ruby Wax makes waves in Hawaii

The lifeguards are handsome (if incomprehensible), the food is fantastic – and everything's covered in flowers. Welcome to Hawaii, where everyone says 'Aloha'

Bustin' Down The Door (15)

It's amazing to think that until recently surfing didn't exist as a professional sport.

Album: Debashish Bhattacharya, O Shakuntala! (Riverboat)

India's maestro of the slide guitar was destined by his parents to be a singer, but when a Hawaiian steel guitar was put into his lap at three, it was love at first sight. He earned the title Pandit ("master") at 40, and at 45 is still broadening his scope.

Riding giants: The young surfers who turned a dream into a billion-dollar industry

In 1975, when a gang of young pretenders challenged local tradition in Hawaii, the stage was set for surf war. Now an acclaimed film tells how this bitter conflict gave rise to a modern sport and a billion-dollar business

Beware Invisible Cows, By Andy Martin

Perhaps as a surfer you are more in touch than most with the scale of nature. Waves the size of houses can crush you to a pulp or send you gliding into that zonal nirvana of oneness with the higher powers which is the object of all that paddling around watching and waiting.

The Descendants, By Kaui Hart Hemmings

A descendant of one of Hawaii's largest landowners, Matt King finds himself swimming in deep water after his fun-loving wife, Joanie falls into a coma following a boating accident.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own