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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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

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Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

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Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

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Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
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Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

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Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor