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".

'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

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

Boyd Tonkin: The missing lanes of Olympic arts

The week in books

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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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
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60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

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Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
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Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
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An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent