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Isabel Taylor and Duncan MacWatt assumed their precious photos had been lost forever when Mrs Taylor dropped a bag containing a memory card

Leading article: Alaska's hockey mom moves on

Sarah Palin may have bowed out as Governor of Alaska, but even as she served her last salmon-burger at the governor's picnic, it was unclear whether we were looking at an end or a beginning. She left office with all the confidence and aplomb that had marked her political career to date, pledging to write a book and work to build a centre-right Republican coalition. There may be little doubt about the former, but the latter looks a much tougher and more questionable proposition.

Palin flips salmon burgers in a farewell to politics in Alaska

Will the best known US Republican return to politics to battle for president?

Palin's resignation day arrives

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin steps down today giving few clues about her political future, which has been clouded by ethics probes, mounting legal bills and dwindling popularity.

Palin picnic in Alaska hometown draws big crowd

More than a thousand people showed up for former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's annual picnic held in her hometown of Wasilla.

Matthew Norman: She might be crazy, but could she end up in the White House?

Palin should have said she was giving up politics to spend less time with her family

What's your game, Sarah?

The Alaska Governor's shock resignation has left Republicans baffled, reports David Usborne in New York

Foot-shooting season opens in Alaska

Stephen Foley reports on Sarah Palin's announcement that she is quitting as her home state's governor

Palin drops resignation bombshell

Former vice-presidential candidate stuns party by quitting as Alaska governor

To find Alaska's wildlife, follow the pipeline

The oil industry is providing an unlikely aid to tourism in this US state. Polly Evans takes the Dalton Highway into the heart of the wilderness

Lonely life and premature death of Nicholas Hughes

The son of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath moved to Alaska to pursue his passion for the oceans. But he could not escape the depression that made him take his life at the age of 47

Sylvia Plath's son commits suicide in Alaska

Nicholas Hughes, the son of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, has killed himself. His death was 46 years after his mother committed suicide and almost 40 years to the day after his stepmother, Assia Wevill, did the same. He was 47.

Alaska volcano Mount Redoubt erupts

Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano erupted four times overnight, sending an ash plume more than nine miles into the air, but the state's largest city has likely been spared from any ash fall.

Wendy and Lucy (15)

Or: it's a dog's life. Michelle Williams plays meek drifter Wendy, who's making her way up to Alaska in the vague hope of a job, her only company a goldenish retriever, Lucy.

Bears, By Bernd Brunner

As this delightful but often discomfiting book shows, "it has been the bear's fate to serve as a yardstick for humans". Moving with a brisk tread between actual bear behaviour and the myths and tales that partner it, Brunner reminds us - with dry wit and great illustrations - that we get bears wrong. Above all, they're just not that into us.

The moose, the trooper – and a scandal that could engulf McCain

Sarah Palin could face criminal charges over sacking of brother-in-law
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam