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.

Birmingham airport expansion plans: how do they measure up?

Birmingham Airport has proposed changes which could boost capacity of the airport by up to 70 million long term. But just how does this match up with the world's other major airports?

Reverend Andrew Greeley

Rev Andrew Greeley: Outspoken priest and author

The Reverend Andrew Greeley, who was an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, best-selling author and newspaper columnist who criticised the hierarchy of his own church over the child sex-abuse scandal, has died aged 85.

Despite the high menu prices, room service isn’t very profitable

Room service: The final call on a luxury that is just not profitable

At the New York Hilton, you will soon have to make do with a 'grab 'n go' cafeteria

The Shining Girls, By Lauren Beukes. HarperCollins, £12.99

To begin with, Lauren Beukes had an idea so perfectly simple it sounds like an elevator pitch: "time-travelling serial killer".

Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist and founding member of The Doors who had a dramatic impact on rock 'n' roll, has died. He was 74

This is the end... Keyboard player of The Doors Ray Manzarek dies of cancer aged 74 

Ray Manzarek, the keyboard player and co-founder of The Doors, one of the most influential rock groups of the 1960s, has died after a protracted battle with cancer. He was 74.

Buycott empowers consumers by revealing which corporations are responsible for the contents of your basket

Retail: The secret shopper in your pocket

How do you know if the cutesy kitchen roll you're buying is owned by climate change deniers? There's an app for that

Book of a lifetime: Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans, By Louis Armstrong

My parents loved the blues and early jazz, and I grew up to the sounds of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Leadbelly and Fats Waller.

Hans Lipschis was taken into custody after authorities concluded there was compelling evidence he was involved in crimes at Auschwitz while there from 1941 to 1945, prosecutor Claudia Krauth said

Suspected 93-year-old Auschwitz guard Hans Lipschis arrested in Germany

German authorities say they have arrested a 93-year-old alleged former Auschwitz guard who once lived in the United States on suspicion of accessory to murder.

Paperback review: Breakdown, By Sara Paretsky

A group of teenage girls holds an initiation ceremony to the Vampire Society in a Chicago cemetery at midnight.

Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, who died on 10 April aged 76, was a Chicago bluesman known for his guitar playing and his mellow singing voice

Jimmy Dawkins: Blues guitarist

Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, who died on 10 April aged 76, was a Chicago bluesman known for his guitar playing and his mellow singing voice.

Liberty Head 'Walton' nickel from 1913 rakes in more than $3m at auction

The 5 cent coin was one of five produced illegally by a rogue US Mint worker

George Beverly Shea has died aged 104

Baritone George Beverly Shea dies aged 104

George Beverly Shea, whose booming baritone voice echoed through stadiums, squares and souls during a decades-long career with evangelist Billy Graham, has died aged 104.

Bubba Watson breaks down in tears during yesterday’s press conference

The Masters 2013 draw: A boohoo, but no whooping, from reigning champion Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson cried when he won his Green Jacket last year. He cried again yesterday

Roger Ebert, one of the most popular film reviewers of his time, has died at the age of 70

Pulitzer Prize-winning US film critic Roger Ebert dies, aged 70

Ebert’s show with Gene Siskel was full of verbal sparring and thumbs up/ thumbs down reviews

Maria Llanos watches on as her daughter hugs a friend at the soon-to-close Lafayette School in Chicago

Yes, we can close schools: Rahm Emanuel’s cash crisis in Chicago

More than 10 per cent of city’s elementary facilities shut down by Obama’s former right-hand man

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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
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Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
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Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
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Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
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Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
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Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game