Arts and Entertainment Face facts: ‘Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World’ with Dr Jago Cooper

When most of us think of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, we think of moai, the 887 magnificent statues that guard its shores. But the mystery of BBC4's Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World wasn't how these monoliths were made, or how they were moved into place (aliens, obviously) or even whether the ancient Rapa Nui people were responsible for their own decline, it's why the myths have persisted for so long.

An absolute monarch bent on giving up his power

Schooled in England, the King of Tonga has returned to catch up with old friends – and contemplate the looming day when he will surrender his omnipotence and embrace democracy. Jerome Taylor meets him

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

King of Tonga bows to history as democracy comes ashore

After years of protests, the world's last absolute monarch yields power

Military searches for bodies in Samoa

Some frightened Samoans who fled to the hills as a tsunami tore through their seaside villages vowed today never to return to the coastline, while aid workers delivered water and medicine amid the growing stench of decay.

Death toll in Samoas tsunami reaches 149

Stunned Samoans dug through the sodden wreckage of their homes and told of the terror of being trapped underwater or flung inland by the tsunami that ravaged towns and killed at least 149 people in the South Pacific.

British child 'presumed dead' after tsunami

A two-year-old British boy was feared dead tonight after a devastating tsunami, trigged by a massive earthquake, tore through islands in the south Pacific Ocean.

Scores dead in tsunami in Pacific islands

A series of tsunamis smashed into the Pacific island nations of American and Western Samoa killing possibly more than 100 people, some washed out to sea, destroying villages and injuring hundreds, officials said today.

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'

Where did you get that hat? Secrets of the Easter Island statues

Mystery of the giant headgear on the Easter Island statues has been solved by a team of British archaeologists

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

Secret to a longer life lies on Easter Island

Scientists have found an anti-ageing drug that works on mice – and could do the same for humans

Simon Calder: Tents: nervous headache for eclipse chasers?

Christmas 2010 will arrive early for the people of Easter Island: 11 July, to be precise. The residents of this Jersey-sized fragment peeking out from the South Pacific have the cosmological good fortune to lie astride the line of totality for next year's solar eclipse.

Volcano shatters Pacific calm around Tonga

An undersea volcano that has been erupting for days near Tonga – shooting smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet into the sky – is to be studied by scientists. Officials said the eruption did not pose any danger to islanders at this stage, and there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected. Spectacular columns are spewing out of the sea west of the islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai in an area where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered, geologists said.

Undersea volcano erupts near Tonga

Scientists sailed today to inspect an undersea volcano that has been erupting for days near Tonga — shooting smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet into the sky above the South Pacific ocean.

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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

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How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz