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

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The tragic loss of British wildlife

Some truths are never voiced because they are virtually impossible to perceive. For example, I have never heard anyone declare how appallingly impoverished Britain's wildlife is. That's not the subject of a national debate (although it ought to be). That's not even a national perception. In fact, I don't know if it's anybody's perception. But it's no less than the truth.

Stephen Foley: Start-ups, let's hear it for New York

One Apple iPad – $499. Marketing buzz from smashing an iPad live on stage – priceless.

Malcolm Gladwell: I wanted to be an academic but then I realised that academics are hedgehogs and I am a fox

Malcolm Gladwell is the New Yorker essayist who has also published three best-selling, non-fiction books: The Tipping Point, Blink and The Outliers, but not Jamie Does, which is by Jamie Oliver and is a celebration of food from six different countries. Wake up!

Album: New York Polyphony, Tudor City (Avie)

This American vocal quartet specialises in renaissance polyphony, here proving equally adept at classic English and Latin devotional pieces by such as Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, and newer works in the style, written for the quartet by Andrew Smith.

Human sacrifices discovered at torched Shang Dynasty city Huanbei

A team of researchers excavating a 3,300 year old Shang Dynasty palace-temple complex at the ancient city of Huanbei have discovered that it was burned down after only 50 years of use by the city’s own rulers.

City Slicker: Bogota

Colombia's capital is shaking off its crime-ridden past. And, if you still crave election fever, it's just the place to go. Paul Bignell provides a guide

What's the point of Taki if he isn't offensive any more?

The ageing womaniser and 'Spectator' columnist talks to Matthew Bell about David and Boris

Kate Simon: Better late than never. Travel insurers wise up to the grey pound

I've been trying out one of those multi-generation holidays (that my colleague Sarah Barrell scorned in this column last week). And, do you know what, they sometimes work.

High-end fashion hits New York

This monumental work by the French artist Christian Boltanski, comprises 30 tonnes of discarded clothing.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Warbling wonders in need of a poet

Strange to find a great natural event which has never had its due. Most of the exceptional happenings in nature, from the return of the salmon to the song of the nightingale, from the march of the penguins to the hunt of the orcas, have by now been appropriately appreciated and praised, versified, sung about, photographed, made into TV documentaries and commented upon in hushed tones by David Attenborough. But there is one extraordinary natural phenomenon which it seems to me has never been described or recognised in the terms which it deserves, and that is the spring return of the warblers to America's forests and woodlands.

Radcliffe to run in New York

Paula Radcliffe will be back in action next month in New York, but as a fun runner, not a racer.

George Nissen: Inventor of the trampoline

In 1930, the 16-year-old George Nissen watched in awe as trapeze artists performed their daring stunts at a travelling circus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Seeing them dismount at the end of their routines, dropping from their swinging bars and bouncing into a safety net below set the keen gymnast and swimmer thinking about how the performers' act would be even more spectacular if they could continue bouncing and doing more tricks.

Timeline: The marathon

Date Night (15)

Date Night is also a comedy about family values, but it has the opposite problem: it wants to celebrate these values, not satirise them, while also playing anarchic and sexy and rude.

Five lions: 'the best nature photographs of all time'

Hauled out on the rocks, they may look plump and ungainly, but under the surface, sea lions are all grace and elegance, as this photograph of some playing in the sea grass beds off Little Hopkins Island, South Australia, clearly shows.

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love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
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The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
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Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
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Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
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Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
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Brendan Rodgers
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn