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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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?