Pacific Ocean

Samoans celebrate skipping Friday

Sirens wailed and fireworks exploded over Samoa as the tiny South Pacific nation jumped forward in time, crossing westward over the international date line and effectively erasing Friday, 30 December, 2011, from the country's calendar.

Sun, sea – and stick-up: Pacific island Aitutaki in shock after

The pace of life is languid, to say the least, on Aitutaki, an idyllic coral atoll in the South Pacific. Described as "the world's most beautiful island" by Tony Wheeler, the Lonely Planet co-founder, it is also extremely devout, with more than 20 churches for a population of fewer than 2,000.

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Surfing: Riding the tube to work

Board meeting, anyone? It was just a normal day in the office for Tahiti's Tamaroa McComb yesterday, pictured here on his way to victory in round two of the Rangiroa Pro Junior surfing competition in the French Polynesian atoll of Rangiroa.

Last year was second hottest on record, say scientists

In Britain it ended in freezing temperatures and weeks of snow and ice. Globally, though, 2010 was still the second warmest year on record, according to Met Office scientists who yesterday reaffirmed that the world is continuing to get warmer.