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

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
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Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
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Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
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Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
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Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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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
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary