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.

Jonylah Watkins died in hospital on Tuesday

Six-month-old girl shot dead while having nappy changed

Infant hit five times as Chicago gunman fires into father's minivan in suspected gang attack

Traffic camera firm caught in Chicago’s biggest ever bribery case

In what may turn out to be the biggest single corruption case Chicago has ever seen, a traffic camera company has admitted that it spent roughly $2m (£1.3m) over four years on a barely disguised bribery scheme to support and expand its lucrative contracts with the city’s transportation department.

He's not dead! World's most dangerous fugitive was NOT killed in Guatemalan jungle shootout

Reports of death of drugs baron known as El Chapo blamed on a government 'mix up'

Lady Gaga performing at the 2010 Grammys

Lady Gaga cancels all Born This Way tour dates due to hip injury

Lady Gaga has cancelled her remaining US and Canada tour dates as she undergoes surgery for an injury to her hip.

Hadiya Pendleton performed at the President's inauguration

Michelle Obama to attend funeral of teen shot dead weeks after inauguration performance

Family welcome the first lady's appearance

Stewie was the longest cat in the world

So long ... to the world's longest cat

Stewie the world's longest cat has died. Guinness World Records declared Stewie the Cat the record-holder in August 2010, measuring 48.5 inches (123.19 cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.

Convicted murderer US police released by mistake is found watching television

Police have recaptured a convicted murderer they freed by mistake at a northern Illinois home where he was found watching TV.

Hadiya Pendleton performed at the President's inauguration

Teenager who performed for Obama is shot

A 15-year-old girl who performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration in Washington was killed on Tuesday in a daylight shooting at a park in Chicago's notorious South Side.

Teenager who performed at Barack Obama’s second inauguration is shot dead in Chicago

A Chicago teenager who performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration was killed yesterday in a daylight shooting at a park on the city’s notorious South Side.

The judge said of Headley: 'I don’t have any faith in Mr Headley when he says he’s a changed person and believes in the American way of life'

Scout for 2008 Mumbai attackers gets 35 years in jail

David Headley received a reduced sentence for co-operating with prosecutors

Sex offenders can use Facebook, declares US Court

A US federal court has struck down a ban on sex offenders using social networking sites like Facebook, calling the law unconstitutional.

Edelman honed his public relations skills in the Army

Daniel Edelman: Public relations pioneer

Daniel J Edelman, who died on 15 January at the age of 92, built one of the world's leading public relations companies and pioneered celebrity endorsements and media tours. He developed many of the methods now standard after transforming the firm he started more than 60 years ago with two people into a global concern. The firm's clients include Microsoft, Pfizer, Wal-Mart and Royal Dutch Shell.

Amy Poehler was great success on Golden Globes - but who is she?

Tina Fey and Poehler replaced Ricky Gervais as this year's hosts. But unlike Fey, her blond counterpart is relatively unknown this side of the pond

Urooj Khan poses with the winning lottery ticket

Murder investigation launched after US lottery winner dies of suspected cyanide poisoning the day after winning $425,000

Urooj Khan thought all his luck had come at once. After all, not only had he just won the lottery, he barely ever played it. But the day after picking up his $425,000 (£265,000) prize Mr Khan died from what appears to have been cyanide poisoning. Police are treating the case as murder.

A shrine at Newtown. Gun deaths in America may soon outstrip deaths from road accidents

Gun deaths in America projected to soon top car fatalities

Guns and cars have long been among the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the U.S. By 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect