News A man walks along a snow covered Cass Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. The first major winter storm of 2014 bore down on the US northeast on Thursday and Friday with heavy snow, Arctic temperatures and strong winds

A second storm is set to hit the region over the next few days that could be even worse, just as the clean up begins

Kevin Cook, 25, handed his three-year-old phone over to the armed mugger the bemused thief gave it straight back

Disappointed mugger hands outdated flip phone straight back

The choosy Central Park mugger took one look at the three-year-old Windows phone and gave it back to his victim

Postcard from... New York

Postcard from... New York

Travel agenda

From coffee in Nicaragua and upmarket Asia to Andy Murray's hotel

Deep blue: Cabo San Lucas, in Los Cabos, Mexico

My life in travel: Paula Radcliffe

'Los Cabos in Mexico has beautiful beaches where I could run for miles'

The latest New York TV phenomenon is, of course, HBO’s Girls which is drawing fans of Lena Dunham’s quarter-life crisis

Tourism: The Girls girls' new TV tour

Despite a lot of its most famous shows (Friends, Seinfeld, Taxi) being filmed in warehouses in Los Angeles, New York City has made the most of its use as a setting in TV and films. Or, at least, entrepreneurial locals have done. Kenny Kramer (Larry David’s ex-neighbour, the “real” Kramer who inspired the character) offers weekend tours of famous spots from Seinfeld.

Zhang Xin

Zhang Xin, the Chinese tycoon seven times richer than the Queen, set to buy America's most expensive office tower

One of China's richest women is set to buy America's most expensive office tower.

Contractors work on the East Side Access project beneath midtown Manhattan, in New York

Into the Big Apple's core: New images reveal massive Grand Central-style subway station being built in New York

When completed in 2019 the tunnels will bring subway and commuter rail services to under-served stretches of New York

Postcard from... New York

Who let the dogs out? Residents of New York's Upper West Side have been wondering just that after being terrorised by a pair of collies on the loose.

New York's Met Museum

New York's Met museum sued over 'recommended' $25 admission fee

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York faces the possibility of tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue if a lawsuit over its allegedly misleading admissions policy succeeds.

Hurricane Sandy: Uptown, they described it as 'mostly hype' - but then came flying metal and flooded streets

In his second dispatch from New York, our correspondent describes the changing mood as Hurricane Sandy batters the East Coast of America

Secret life of the Empire State killer

The fatal shooting of two men is just one more episode in America's summer of gun sprees

Temperatures across US cool after heatwave kills dozens

The heat that blanketed much of the US and left at least 46 people dead will begin easing up this week as temperatures approach normal from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson - 'A sex symbol? Flattering, but I don't think so'

With five films out this year, Hollywood disagrees with Liam Neeson's view he might be past his sell-by date. The chatty star of Schindler's List tells Gill Pringle about his new nautical role – and the time he serenaded Paul McCartney with a Beatles medley...

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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 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future