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.

Columbus Port Director Robert Reza says next to the

'Highly intoxicated' immigrant suspected of entering the US illegally in truck full of chilli

There was no hot pursuit required when US Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a Mexican stowaway drunk and face-down in a shipment of red chilli.

Man survives being hit 'straight on' by Amtrak train travelling at 110mph

Darryl See was hit by a Chicago-bound train as he walked along the tracks east of Michigan City

Neil Hilborn

Page 3 Profile: Neil Hilborn, Poet

Slam poetry? It’s hardly Wordsworth.

Luna Rossa progress to Louis Vuitton Cup final

The Italian America’s Cup challenger Luna Rossa duly progressed to the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup elimination series after a clean sweep 4-0 win over Sweden’s Artemis Racing.

Team Luna Rossa Challenge (L) is skippered by Massimiliano Sirena against Team Artemis Racing (R) skippered by Iain Percy during race three of the Louis Vuitton Cup

Third Louis Vuitton Cup win for Italian team Luna Rossa puts them in touching distance of final

One more victory would see them through to the final where Emirates Team New Zealand await

Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge (L) and Sweden's Artemis Racing (R) face off at the start of a Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals match on August 7, 2013, in San Francisco.

Italians half way to second slot in Louis Vuitton Cup final

Time is running out for Swedish America’s Cup challenger Artemis, whose sailing director is Iain Percy, after going two down to the Italians in the semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Cup elimination series.

Witnesses at the 1955 trial with the 18-year-old Willie Reed, second left, and Mamie Emmett, Till’s bereaved mother

Willie Reed reminds us change has come

Out of America: The Trayvon Martin story is horrifying. But the fate of a witness to an earlier outrage helps put it in the proper context

Actor Dennis Farina, a former Chicago policeman who played a TV cop on Law & Order during his wide-ranging career, has died at the age of 69.

Law and Order actor Dennis Farina dies aged 69

The American actor Dennis Farina, a former Chicago policeman best known for playing tough guy roles on both sides of the law, has died aged 69.

18-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick consults his caddie Lorne Duncan on his way to the Silver Medal

The Open 2013: First British win at Muirfield as teenager Matthew Fitzpatrick wins Silver Medal

Can Lee Westwood or Ian Poulter continue the home success after 18-year-old finishes top amateur

Three people were killed and more than 180 injured in the crash

Asiana San Francisco runway crash survivors
to sue Boeing

Seatbelts and collapsing seats said to have  exacerbated injuries of 83 people

Six-year-old boy survives being buried by 124 foot sand dune for three hours

Rescuers spend three hours using excavation equipment to free him

Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

Revealed: Hillary Clinton earns $200,000 from lucrative world of after-dinner speaking

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rakes in up to $200,000 (£132,000) a night in the lucrative world of professional speechmaking, according to The New York Times.

Michael Douglas (left) with Ari Emanuel

Hollywood super-agents in war of words over clients

Ari Emanuel accuses music mogul Irving Azoff of being 'fundamentally a liar and selfish'

Up and away: rugby fullback Ben Foden gets ready for the Gherkin Challenge

Stair-climbing: A step change in keeping fit

Climbing stairs is possibly the best and cheapest route to fitness ever invented. It's even a sport in its own right. Jane Taylor explains why we should give the lift a miss

'Near apocalyptic' dust storm causes 27-vehicle pileup, killing lorry driver and leaving several others fighting for their lives

Blinded by dust as the storm tore across Interstate 80, vehicles began ploughing into each other, dramatically stretching limited emergency resources in sparsely populated Humboldt County, Nevada

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

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This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine