Life on Mars, in Utah

As rock samples show evidence of life on the Red Planet, scientists and enthusiasts live like astronauts far closer to home,  in the harsh terrain of Utah's desert

Photography book of the week: Black Maps - American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, By David Maisel

"These photographs," writes David Maisel, one of a group of landscape photographers dubbed "the New Topographics", "depict the landscape of the American West as the site of human-induced trauma."

IoS book review: The Friday Gospels, By Jenn Ashworth

The lives of Latter Day Saints

Face-tattooed neo-Nazi is sentenced to life for the killing of a prison guard

Curtis Allgier, a neo-Nazi and inmate of Utah Department of Corrections offered a oddly affecting plea when sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for killing a prison guard five years ago. He said: "Just because I've got tattoos on my face and I'm proud of my race, I'm not some violent monster."

Great getaways: Chamonix and Salt Lake City

French fancy

Obama's re-election: a time for prayer?

Dear Lord... Energy firm boss's prayer after Obama re-election

For the chairman and chief executive of Murray Energy, an Ohio-based coal company, the reelection of President Barack Obama was no cause for celebration. It was a time for prayer — and layoffs.

Team Romney prepares for power and patronage

Romney has promised to do two things on his first day in office – and there are plenty of jobs to fill

Forza Horizon – Review

Forza Horizon shrugs off the straitjacket and lets the franchise run free.
Quite an inheritance: the sale of Ancestry.com has netted founder Paul Allen and CEO Tim Sullivan a share of £1bn

Mormons proves money grows on family trees

For the newest members of the dot-com millionaires club, money grows on family trees. A Mormon company have cashed in after their genealogy service agreed to a £1bn buyout lead by UK investors excited by a global roots-finding trend boosted by, among other celebrities, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Man missing in desert for three weeks survived on diet of frogs and roots

An autistic man survived in the desert for three weeks on a diet of frogs and roots, US authorities have said.

Reading Like a Writer, By Francine Prose

As novelist and critic, American writer Francine Prose has always gloried in a robust wit and heretical spirit that set her at odds with the po-faced pieties of the US literary scene.

Five Wives vodka 'offends Mormons'

If drinkers in Idaho fancy having Five Wives, they will now have to go elsewhere: regulators in the state have banned the sale of the humorously titled vodka after deeming it offensive to Mormons.

Kerchner, right receives his DSC from Lt-Col James Rudder in June 1944

Lieutenant George Kerchner: Veteran of the D-Day landings

Injured later, he wrote in his diary, 'Attack. Rough! Got hit. Million dollar wound.On way back'

David and Louise Estes' daughter Jade was born on Wednesday morning in Provo, near Salt Lake City, Utah

Woman has third consecutive leap year baby

Three American siblings have equalled a world record set in the 1960s by each being born on three consecutive leap year days.

When I really felt in the firing line... at the premiere of my first film

Tom Bradby has been shot during riots in Indonesia, he has reported from Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles, and he has unwittingly triggered the biggest crisis in the British media for a generation. But the ITV News Political Editor has found a new terror – attending film premieres as a guest of honour.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable