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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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Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes