Former aide's book claims Palin breached election laws

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, told a top aide that she hated "this damn job" not long before she resigned from office barely halfway through her elected term, according to a leaked draft of an unauthorised biography that also accuses her of breaking state election laws.

Republicans sniff the wind for a winner but Palin stays away

Conservative Republicans are converging on Washington this morning to kick off the party's 2012 nomination process even as the champagne fizz of last year's mid-term election success gives way to anxiety about finding a credible candidate to challenge President Barack Obama.

O: A Presidential Novel, By Anonymous

Mark Salter, a speech- and ghost-writer for the 2008 Republican candidate John McCain, has not denied authorship of O: a Presidential Novel. If I were him, I would. Because this "speculative fiction" about an Obama-like Democrat's re-election campaign in 2012 is a plodding dog of a yarn, worth attention as a textbook case of how to drag the messy thrills of political life down into a swamp of plot and leave them there to drown.

Palin limps in fourth in key Republican activists' poll

Sarah Palin may want to express-freight her sled and dogs over to New Hampshire where support for her as the Republican nominee for president turns out to be tepid verging on chilly, according to a first poll taken in the electorally critical state this weekend.

First Night: 10 O'Clock Live, Channel 4

They had the big stories, but where were the big laughs?

Sarah Palin defends 'blood libel' remark and rounds on her critics

Sarah Palin, defending herself against criticism following the serial shootings in Arizona said that she used the term "blood libel" to describe comments made by those who falsely tried to link conservatives to the assassination attempt against Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Speaking out for the first time since she used the term in a video, Palin said on Fox television that the term referred to those "falsely accused of having blood on their hands".

Boyd Tonkin: The missing lanes of Olympic arts

The week in books

Mary Dejevsky: Fact: our politicians are not necessarily safer than theirs

That the blame has settled so soon on the malevolence of US politics fosters the conclusion that their politicians are uniquely threatened

'Blood libel': The two words that spelled trouble for Sarah Palin

Politicians often reach for hyperbolic phrases to make a point – Sarah Palin is the latest. But 'blood libel' has an appalling religious significance that should see it banished for ever, argues Peter Stanford

Sarah Palin blames journalists for inciting hatred after shooting

Right-wing US politician Sarah Palin has posted a nearly eight-minute video on her Facebook page condemning those who blame fierce political campaigning for the Tucson massacre.

Leading article: The fruits of political extremism

The motives of the gunman who shot the US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six bystanders in Tuscon on Saturday are unclear. We do not know whether the youth who has been arrested for the crime, Jared Loughner, was driven by political grievance or mental illness. But to many in America this looks like an atrocity that was waiting to happen.

Palin visits Haiti's cholera epidemic victims

Sarah Palin has embarked on a tightly stage-managed visit to Haiti, visiting cholera clinics but avoiding crowds and the press.

Hunter becomes the hunted as Palin critics say she can't shoot

She no doubt expected a backlash from the lily-livered animal rights lobby, but when Sarah Palin bundled a TV crew into the back of a truck and ventured forth into the wilds of Alaska to shoot caribou, the very last people she expected to annoy were the members of America's hunting community.

Palin feels the force of a new critic – Barbara Bush

The Republican Party establishment is still in confusion over how to deal with the unorthodox power and popularity of Sarah Palin, but everyone appears to agree that it is too dangerous to be rude about her. Everyone that is, except Barbara Bush, former first lady and grande dame of the Bush family.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'