Voices Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a polar vortex in New York

All 50 US states are below freezing as the polar vortex sworls around North America, shattering temperature records and causing a collective shudder across the continent.

Elmwood Village residents walk down Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York

Polar vortex: All 50 US states are below freezing – and even Hell's frozen over

Central Park breaks 118-year-old record when the temperature dropped to -15C

Judge rules Chicago's ban on the sale of firearms in the city is illegal

Officials in Chicago have vowed to fight a ruling by a federal district judge which threatens to lift a long-standing ban on the sale of firearms in the city, one of the last vestiges of the toughest crackdown on gun ownership in the US.

Sherlock Holmes portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series

Sherlock Holmes and the case of copyright

A long-running legal battle in the United States could change the way Sherlock Holmes and other characters are portrayed in future books and films

Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al in Lawrence, Kan, feels the bitter wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snow blower early morning

'Polar vortex' snowstorm plunging America into record-breaking cold snap may bring coldest day of 21st century

With Arctic winds plummeting temperatures to  -50C, much of North America has shut down as authorities warn of the life-threatening freeze

US braced for record low temperatures as 'polar vortex' brings minus -51C wind chill

Extreme forecast in America with -31 Celsius in Fargo, North Dakota, -35 C in International Falls, Minnesota, and -26 C in Indianapolis and Chicago

US groom killed while helping a stranded motorist hours after his wedding

He and the stranded woman he helped both died in the incident

Martin Bashir hosted a regular afternoon news discussion show on the US TV channel MSNBC

Princess Diana made him, Sarah Palin destroyed him: the rise and fall of Martin Bashir

'I deeply regret what was said, and will always appreciate our viewers'

A heroin user prepares the drug in Zhukovsky, near Moscow

Krokodil in Canada? Ontario reports three potential cases of flesh-eating drug

Health workers have reported patients being hospitalised with gangrenous wounds

A series of tornadoes sweeping across Illinois and Indiana have killed at least two people and injured at least 40 while flattening large parts of the city of Washington in Illinois

US tornadoes: Storm sweeps through America’s Midwest leaving at least six dead

A series of tornadoes sweeping across Illinois and Indiana have killed at least six people and injured at least 40 while flattening large parts of the city of Washington in Illinois.

Joint Nobel prize goes to economists with rival theories: US trio Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller share award

Three Americans rewarded with $1.2 million prize for work on predicting global financial markets

Krokodil the flesh-eating drug spreads to Chicago suburbs with three cases in a week

Krokodil, which is considered more addictive that heroin, originated in Russia

Three-year-old boy in critical condition after 12 are injured in Chicago park shooting

Authorities say there are no reports of fatalities and that no one is in custody

Beanie Babies founder Ty Warner fined $53m for tax evasion

The billionaire founder of the 1990s toy craze Beanie Babies has admitted tax evasion after hiding more than £3 million of income in a secret Swiss bank account.

Suzann Pettersen celebrates her Evian win

Suzann Pettersen holds off teenage challenger Lydia Ko

How do you like your champagne moments? Suzann Pettersen posted her entry with victory at the Evian Championship to claim her second major championship. An eight-footer for par at the last to give her a two-shot victory over 16-year-old prodigy Lydia Ko triggered an avalanche of corks at the foot of the Alps.

Hard times: McIlroy admits this year has been a bit of a struggle

Rory McIlroy tries to get mind right after saving face 

In the context of what had gone before, a birdie was cause for letting off flares. After three in four holes around the turn yesterday and an eagle at the last for a 68 Rory McIlroy was pledging a round of drinks in the Conway Farms clubhouse.

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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
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Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
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Florence Knight's perfect picnic

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Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
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Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
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Tim Sherwood column

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Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
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Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition