All hail the new queen of the small screen...

She looks like Sarah Palin’s leather-clad twin and can fire four guns at once. She uses her hair as an offensive weapon and wields a cobra-headed whip. She’s inspired lookalike competitions (although there’s no news on whether La Palin entered) and taken Japan by storm. Oh, and she can turn into a pather too.

Discussing the disabled: Readers' views

Last week, Ian Birrell wrote calling for an end to the casual use of words such as 'retard' that reveal the bigotry with which disabled people are treated. Here, readers offer their views

Letterman says wife 'horribly hurt' by sex scandal

Late-night TV host David Letterman has apologised to his wife on his Late Show, saying she had been "horribly hurt by my behaviour."

Chat show star David Letterman reveals blackmail plot over affairs

US chat show host David Letterman made an extraordinary confession to a string of affairs on his top-rated TV show after an alleged two million dollar blackmail plot.

Sarah Palin 'going rogue' with early memoir release

Sarah Palin, last year's Republican vice-presidential candidate who became a figure of global fascination, is to release her memoir just four months after her book deal was announced.

Mary Wakefield: Pop a pill and you feel so much better – regardless of what's in it

If there's one group of fat cats we all assume are still purring away through these uncertain times, it's big pharmaceutical companies. Bankers may be despised, MPs still reeling from duck-house-gate, but surely big pharma is sitting pretty, turning our pain into gain in their usual charming way.

Guy Adams: The polar opposite to what I'd expected

LA Notebook

Johann Hari: Republicans, religion and the triumph of unreason

How do they train themselves to be so impervious to reality?

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'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.

Funny thing, our new women comics are invisible

A new generation of Americans has joined a dynasty of female comedians, but in Britain such fame is elusive. Susie Mesure reports

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
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment