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.

105,591 ice hockey fans see Toronto Maple Leafs beat Detroit Red Wings in 2014 NHL Winter Classic

The open air Michigan Stadium was packed for the New Year's Day game, despite the conditions

Cold weather lifts H&M sales as retailer beats expectations

H&M, the Swedish fashion group and world’s second-biggest clothing retailer, beat expectations as it saw sales jump 21 per cent across its 3132 stores.

Ded Moroz (Father Frost) meets children in Moscow. The Russian equivalent of Father Christmas has been banned from state TV in Tajikistan

Father Christmas outlawed by Tajikistan TV

The country has banned Father Frost - the Russian equivalent of Father Christmas - from appearing on state TV as the character 'bears no relation to national traditions'

Fifth of spending online as the net really starts to click with customers

Nearly one in every five pounds spent on shopping in the UK is done online – the highest level recorded, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Rash headlines : Met Office denies predicting three months of exceptionally cold weather amid reports of Britain's 'coldest winter ever'

A number of newspapers this morning published articles warning of a 'killer three month freeze' that is expected to hit Britain in days

UK weather: Met Office issues severe weather warnings as ice, wind and snow sweep across Britain

Forecasters says cold snap will settle in for the next two weeks and warned of transport disruption

Cold weather brings warning of rise in dodgy plumbers

The number of callouts for boiler-related problems increased by 72 per cent from the first week of September to the first week of October, the AA reported this week.

Risk of electricity shortages could be 'highest in ten years' this winter

UK faces winter power rationing as risk of blackouts rises

Industrial users of electricity would be first to face usage restrictions

David Frost interviews Gael Garcia Bernal

Sir David Frost's final screen interview: Gael García Bernal lured into Arsenal admission

Bernal also quizzed on Che Guevara's legacy and the war on drugs

The Wasp Factory at the Linbury Theatre

Opera review: The Wasp Factory

A mind-numbingly pretentious 75 minutes

The Northampton clown spotted with some balloons

Northampton Clown sells merchandise to fund travel around the UK

Anonymous performer teams up with London printmakers to create branded T shirts and bags

How to get the look: Cape coats

Capes! I'll be swooshing around as if I'm on stage at the Globe all winter then.

Rare feat as online sales tumble at Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley managed to achieve a rare feat for the High Street today, recording a fall in online sales.

RIP David Frost: 'The Frostie I remember was mischievously funny, and he knew it'

The Independent's political correspondent James Cusick worked with David Frost on 'Frost on Sunday' in the late 80s. Here he remembers a remarkable man

Front Crawl: Frost, Pegg and Considine battle middle-age melancholia ... and killer robots

Jonathan Romney on The World's End: Invasion of the lager snatchers

Pegg, Frost and Wright end their 'Cornetto' trilogy with a clever, touching comedy

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform