News Temperatures have plunged to -13C in the town of Hell, Michigan

The extreme weather in the US has got so cold that even Hell has frozen over.

The information board reads: ‘The Six Nations committee will reschedule the match, keep your tickets’ at the Stade de France on Saturday

Supporters livid as cold snap leads to cancellation at the Stade de Farce

Shambolic scenes in Paris where match with evening start was always likely to be in danger

The big freeze continues as PM backs Heathrow's decision to cancel flights

Forecasters issue snow warnings as sub-zero temperatures and ice spread westwards

London freezes yesterday

Science behind the big freeze: is climate change bringing the Arctic to Europe?

A loss of sea ice could be a cause of the bitter winds that have swept across the UK in the past week, weather experts say

Double-dip recession fears as UK economy shrinks 0.2 per cent

The UK was staring down the barrel of another recession today after the economy shrank more than expected at the end of last year.

Cairn calls up Statoil for Arctic quest

Cairn Energy, the explorer whose bid to find commercial quantities of oil in Greenland has been a consistent disappointment, has brought in Norway's Statoil as a partner to help with the next phase of Arctic exploration.

Art collective Liberate Tate uses Arctic ice to protest at gallery's BP sponsorship

An art collective protesting against the Tate Modern's partnership with oil giant BP used a block of Arctic ice to express their grievances this weekend.

Mixed Christmas fortunes for retail

Christmas has emerged as a divisive season for the retail sector, with some players turning in a better-than-expected performance - while others moved closer to the edge.

Last Night's Viewing: Earthflight, BBC1<br />Coronation Street, ITV1

Given the hysterical simple-mindedness that has recently surrounded some aspects of BBC Natural History filming, you half wonder whether the opening promise of Earthflight – that we would be given a "bird's-eye view" of the natural world – needed to be accompanied by an on-screen disclaimer. "Note: Not actually recorded using a real bird's eye. Microlights used in the filming of this series. Engine noise has been removed from some footage and replaced with the sound of rushing wind and flapping wings. Feather noises may derive from a species not shown on screen." That said, the question of exactly how they did capture these images will be a live one even for viewers not intent on BBC-baiting, because they are remarkable. The camera appears to fly alongside a snow goose, peering up into its wingpit as it languidly beats its way northwards. Or it perches on a bald eagle's ruffed shoulder as the bird itself swoops over the rim of the Grand Canyon, whistling within inches of a pine tree's tip. Or watches brown pelicans as they turn themselves from broken umbrellas into neatly furled ones, spearing into the water to catch fish. Apparently, episode six will reveal all, but in the meantime we'll just have to marvel at what they've managed to achieve.

The 12 most-read 2011 articles in Environment

The environment section covers issues which raise debate such as those concerning climate change, green living and nature. Here we take a look at the most popular articles of the year followed by an insight from our environment editor as he chooses his favourite story.

Herding Cats, Hampstead Theatre, London

Lucinda Coxon's play may be set in the run-up to Christmas but don't go expecting feel-good Yule-tide fare.

Reindeer spotting

Ella's excellent adventures in Lululand

There's reindeer poo, dog sleds – and lots of snow. Sarah Barrell takes her daughter to a wild and wonderful corner of Lapland

Vast methane 'plumes' seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats

Russian research team astonished after finding 'fountains' of methane bubbling to surface

'In two more months, polar bear families will emerge on to the snowy slopes all round the Arctic. But for now they lie protected within their icy cocoons'

BBC denies 'fake' polar bear scene was misleading

The BBC moved yesterday to protect one of its most valuable brands, amid claims that scenes shown on Sir David Attenborough's acclaimed series Frozen Planet were filmed in a Dutch animal park and not in the wild.

Vast methane 'plumes' seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

John Nissen: It may already be too late to deal with this terrifying leak

There are two critical problems: the rapid loss of sea ice and the emergence of methane from a thawing seabed

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own